Can fashion weeks be sustainable? A new museum exhibit looks into the issue

  • Style
  • Tuesday, 31 May 2022

In addition to showcasing iconic looks from past and present fashion weeks and focusing on the sustainable future of these events, the exhibition also reviews the endless possibilities offered by digital technology. Photo: AFP

Often criticised for their impact on the planet, fashion weeks remain major events that directly influence our wardrobes.

For the first time, the Fashion For Good Museum in Amsterdam is looking at the evolution of these coveted events, and particularly at the innovations that will enable them to become more sustainable, through a series of looks created by Indian designers.

Although niche happenings two centuries ago, over the decades, fashion weeks have evolved to become must-see events followed by a huge number of people thanks to their openness to embracing digital technology.

This has been amplified by the pandemic, and by the emergence of the metaverse.

While shows are still reserved for a handful of insiders, they are now viewed by millions of people online, as well as by the giants of fast fashion who draw inspiration from the runways for their future collections.

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These days, fashion moves from the runway to our wardrobes in one short step, making fashion weeks more influential than ever, despite their environmental impact.

With this in mind, the Fashion For Good Museum is staging an exhibition entitled Fashion Week: A New Era, running until October.

It looks at the evolution of fashion weeks and their different forms, from the intimate salons of the 19th century to the present day – and even beyond, since this show is also about the fashion weeks of the future, taking in the digital world and sustainable development.

This is all made possible thanks to a major collaboration between the Fashion For Good Museum, the Fashion Design Council Of India (FDCI) and Lakme Fashion Week, which dedicates a day each year to sustainable fashion as part of the event.

Where expertise meets innovation

In Amsterdam, visitors can admire a range of sustainable looks created by Indian designers, including Ka-Sha and Nitin Bal Chauhan, in partnership with innovative sustainability start-ups, such as Graviky Labs, known for turning carbon dioxide (CO2) into a kind of dye.

The aim is to showcase tomorrow's more sustainable materials and ways to limit waste in order to drive down the environmental footprint of the world's second most polluting industry.

This is achieved through a series of looks combining traditional expertise and cutting-edge innovation.

Read more: The sweet smell of trash? Perfumers are using waste to concoct new scents

In addition to showcasing iconic looks from past and present fashion weeks – from shows by major houses such as Balenciaga, Versace and Moschino – and focusing on the sustainable future of these events, the exhibition also reviews the endless possibilities offered by digital technology.

Visitors can discover how shows and exhibitions are now being unveiled in the virtual world, through the digital shows of Tommy Hilfiger and The Fabricant, for example, or through an entirely digital showcase, like Helsinki Fashion Week.

And since street style is now an integral part of any fashion week, visitors can admire a series of shots taken before or after certain shows, or even strike a pose to capture their own street-style look. – AFP Relaxnews

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