16 May 2008

Fashion In Motion - Ma Ke

I know I’ve been bubbling about the V&A in the last few posts, but today’s post is a good one! This month must be my lucky month because not only was I able to snag tickets to this month’s Fashion in Motion but I was able to snag them to view one of the coolest designers from China, Ma Ke.

To those of you who have been reading my posts regularly, you will notice I have developed a love/passion for theatrical performances and musicals. Not only is Ma Ke all about the clothes, but she and alongside a growing number of designers are crossing over to using art, installation, and performance when showcasing their designs.

Let’s back space for a second so I can tell you a little bit about Fashion in Motion, one of London’s best kept secrets in fashion. Fashion in Motion is a series of catwalk shows brought by the V&A which features designs from the greatest fashion designers in the world. Fashion in Motion previously featured Manish Arora, Gareth Pugh, Christian Lacroix, Hardy Amies, and Ozwald Boatang. Fashion in Motion aims to bring catwalk couture to a wider audience, so people like me who are not part of the insider fashion crowd can meet with prolific designers and appreciate their designs up close.

Ma Ke is a high profile Chinese designer, who graduated in 1992 from the Suzhou Institute of Silk Textile Technology who set up her own label four years later after she graduated. Her designs are a crossover of fashion and art. She established an artistic brand called Wuyong (Useless) in 2006 where she explores the concept of useless through contemporary art and fashion. But what really inspired me about Ma Ke is how she took Paris Fashion Week by storm when she presented her Wuyong collection for the first time. It’s very rare for a contemporary designer to be given a prime spot to show in Paris Fashion week and Ma Ke managed to nail her spot and cause quite the stir with her collection.

Today I was able to appreciate her Wuyong collection up close and personal. She didn’t opt for the regular catwalk stage but rather models were made to stand on large rectangular lit boxes. At first I didn’t know why but when I got close to the garments, I could see that they were extremely heavy and the models were barely holding themselves up. The dresses were made out of layers and layers of discarded items that created large balloon volumes which cascaded all the way down to the floor.

The garments were so heavy one of the younger models had to sit down on her box. But it’s only when I was able to touch the rich and heavy fabrics did I understand the big fuss over the collection during Paris Fashion week. I tried my best to capture the quality of the texture and the millions of layers that made the models work really hard to keep standing so still so I hope they can give you a feel of what it was like to be there.

Overall Fashion in Motion was a great experience as I haven’t seen such a textural and poetic collection put up against such a theatrical backdrop and I highly recommend you watch the Fashion in Motion space on their V&A website to see who they will be showing next. Fashion In Motion tickets are free but have to be booked in advance.

1 comment:

ehakobyan said...

The photos of Ma Ke's collection are fascinating. I'm greatly impressed by her personality as an artist, her works and her ideas about the life, the culture, the fashion. Besides, Ma Ke is the first Chinese designer to take part to the western Haute Couture.