Fashion & Textile Collections Global Index and Map

The Academic Conference Committee for Archiving Fashion Conference: Mapping Fashion Collections, held November 11, 2023 at FIT, developed a list of archives, libraries, museum collections and virtual collections that include fashion and/or textiles, and related materials across the globe–the Fashion & Textile Collections Global Index and Map. Using the mapping technology implemented for the Fashion Calendar Research Database, this data is visualized on an interactive map.

Screenshot of the Fashion & Textile Collections Global Index and Map

Hallyu! The Korean Wave

The Museum of Fine Art, Boston, is hosting a travelling exhibition focusing on the rise of South Korean pop culture on the world state called Hallyu! The Korean Wave.

According to the press release, the exhibition features approximately 250 objects—costumes, props, photographs, videos, pop culture ephemera, and historical and contemporary works. Among the highlights are outfits worn by different generations of K-pop idols, dresses by couture designer Park Sohee and Next in Fashion winner Minju Kim, a large-scale needlework designed by South Korean artist Kyungah Ham and made by anonymous embroiders from North Korea, and pieces exploring the Korean American experience by Timothy Hyunsoo Lee and Julia Kwon. The exhibition also showcases objects from the MFA’s own renowned collection of Korean art, from examples of the iconic moon jar to hanbok, the traditional Korean dress.

Gungbo 궁보 (Royal wrapping cloth). 1800–1900 Polychrome pigments, hemp
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London / Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Hallyu! The Korean Wave exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

There is a thematic portion focusing on fashion that explores the origins and innovations of the Korean fashion and beauty industries. Historical examples of hanbok are juxtaposed with high-fashion looks that are inspired by traditional patterns and silhouettes. Highlights include a sculptural peony gown by Park Sohee and a contemporary hanbok overcoat by Baek Oak Soo, worn by RM from BTS in 2018.

Kim Young Jin 김영진 for Tchai Kim 차이킴 Modern Girl hanbok 2009
Gossamer silk, organza, cotton, rubber
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London. / Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

WWD on the K-Pop fashion on display:

In a way the American audience needs to be exposed to the fashion vibe, but fashion as an art form. But at the same time, if you look at other mediums like dramas, TV and K-pop, fashion is so much of a part of it. That is undeniable, especially with the K-pop groups with all of their performances and music videos. The dresses and what they wear are so important, raising their identities and of the items themselves, said Christina Yu Yu, the MFA’s Matsutaro Shoriki chair, art of Asia. Fashion is a mass recognizable form of art in itself.

Exhibition catalogue

Kim, Youna, Dal Yong Jin, and Victoria and Albert Museum. 2022. Hallyu! : The Korean Wave. Edited by Rosalie Kim. London: V&A Publishing.
Worldcat.

Hallyu! The Korean Wave was created at the V&A and is now touring internationally. It is scheduled to run in Boston through July 28.

Header photo courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Ukrainian Embroidery / Vyshyvanka Day 2024

In 2006 two students at Chernivtsi National University in southwestern Ukraine coordinated together to start wearing Ukrainian traditionally embroidered shirts or vyshyvanka to class. Eventually the idea spread, becoming a nationwide and then an international celebration now known as World Vyshyvanka Day, also known as Ukrainian Embroidery Day or Day the Embroidered Shirt.

Celebrating the creation, transmission and preservation of Ukrainian embroidery information is nothing new. The American Folklife Center, a research center at the Library of Congress, charged to preserve and present American folklife in all its diversity, has collected on the topic of Ukrainian and Ukrainian-American embroidery, highlighting the strong threads that bind this artform with its people.

The following episode of the center’s podcast, Folklife Today, explores Ukrainian materials in the American Folklife Center Archive, including an interview with the then Rhode Island-based Ukrainian American artist Taissa Decyk (1928-2015) who discusses her relationship with embroidery and the role embroidery plays in Ukrainian (American) culture.

Ukrainian Traditions at the American Folklife CenterFolklife Today Podcast

In this episode, hosts John Fenn and Michelle Stefano, with guest Thea Austen, explore Ukrainian materials in the American Folklife Center Archive. Interview segments include a discussion of Ukrainian embroidery and dance, between Geraldine Johnson and Taissa Decyk; and a discussion of a Ukrainian family bandura band who immigrated to the United States as refugees in the late 1940s, between Stephen Winick and Julian Kytasty. Musical selections include a song with bandura accompaniment by Kytasty and a set of instrumental tunes by Gerdan ensemble. More information on the performers and the selections can be found at https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife.

Find the AFC research guide for Ukraine and all other collections here. A keyword search for ’embroidery,’ returns fifteen other research guides that feature information about embroidery.

New 2024 stamps from Ukraine highlighting Crimean Tatar embroidery
New 2024 stamps from Ukraine highlighting embroidery from Kharkivshchyna
Header image: Taissa Decyk and Ukrainian embroidery, Rhode Island. United States, 1979. / Geraldine Niva Johnson. .

Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion [Coming soon]

The Met Costume Institute’s spring 2024 exhibition, Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion will open this Friday and, according to the press release, will “explore notions of rebirth and renewal, using nature as a metaphor for the impermanence of fashion.”

Speaking to Vogue’s Luke Leitch, The Costume Institute’s Andrew Bolton explains “that the exhibition will be structured around approximately 15 historically significant and aesthetically beautiful pieces from the collection that are far too fragile ever to be worn again. ‘These are the ‘Sleeping Beauties’ of the title.'”

The Met writes that

the exhibition will feature original research, conservation analysis, and diverse technologies to revive and explore the sensory capacities of masterworks in the Museum’s collection. Using the natural world as a uniting visual metaphor for the transience of fashion, the show will explore cyclical themes of rebirth and renewal, breathing new life into these storied objects through creative and immersive activations designed to convey the smells, sounds, textures, and motions of garments that can no longer directly interact with the body.

The 2024 Met Gala, co-chaired by Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Wintour and Zendaya, theme this year is “The Garden of Time,” a reference to the 1962 book of the same name by J.G. Ballard, connected to the exhibition by the idea of “fleeting beauty,” writes Vogue’s Lilah Ramzi.

The exhibition catalogue includes “engaging texts by scholars, scientists, and conservators reveal the history behind over 200 works of fashion while also addressing their fragility and ephemerality,” according to a blurb by Yale University Press.

The exhibition is scheduled to run in The Tisch Galleries, Gallery 899, Floor 2 at the Met on 5th Avenue, May 10 to September 2, 2024.

Header image: Jun Takahashi (Japanese, born 1969) for Undercover (Japanese, founded 1990). Dress, spring/summer 2024. Reinforced 3-D-printed clear resin containing purple silk plain-weave roses, green silk velvet leaves, and yellow and purple silk plain-weave butterflies overlaid with yellow nylon tulle and trimmed with yellow embossed leather. Courtesy Undercover / Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photography © Nick Knight, 2024