WEARABLE ART has come a long way from ‘60s macramé and tie-dye everything. See for yourself October 4-6. That’s when the Smithsonian’s Craft2Wear comes to the National Building Museum for a curated show and sale of original jewelry, clothing and accessories, featuring more than 60 artists. Look into the future of wearable art with creative, new uses of materials. Think fabric with digitally printed designs, jewelry crafted from pearls and antique beads, and one-of-a-kind artful accessories.
The roster of artists includes many first-time exhibitors, including Barbara Poole, Ely Edelman, Julie Powell and Deborah Polonoff. Lowell, Mass.-based Barbara Poole uses mathematics to compute shrink rates of wool and other textiles in order to create well-fiitted clothing. Great Neck, New York-based Evy Edelman, makes pieces as diverse as wedding bands with intricate open goldwork inset with diamonds and a pendants with a topaz bug set on black tourmaline. Julie Powell from Boulder, Colorado, who has a background in knitting and quilting, weaves and embroiders tiny glass beads, with a needle and fishing line, to create intricate cuffs, necklaces and earrings in flexible fabrics. Deborah Polonoff from Portland, Oregon, designs and hand-prints a line of trouser socks, scarves and velvet gloves. Inspired by Renaissance pomegranate patterns, medieval illuminated manuscripts and the artist Gustav Klimt, she began producing hand-printed legwear while working as an intern at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, then under the the direction of Diana Vreeland.
The three-day event kicks off Thursday night, October 4, from 6 to 9pm, with an opening night cocktail party (tickets, $50, advance purchase only) to meet and mingle with the artists, see a fashion show, shop and enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Hours for the show Friday and Saturday are 10:30am to 5:30pm. A one-day pass is $13. Purchase tickets at smithsoniancraft2wear.org.
Smithsonian Craft2Wear is produced by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, an all-volunteer organization that supports the education, outreach and research programs of the Smithsonian Institution. The awe-inspiring National Building Museum is located at 401 F Street NW, 202-272-2448.