Must-see exhibition: Wool Modern

London’s avant-garde showcase goes on world-tour

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Since its launch in London in September 2011 as part of the Campaign for Wool, the Wool Modern exhibition travelled the globe educating and inspiring designers and consumers with its clever and innovative showcase of wool at its finest.

 

THE LAUNCH

A ground-breaking exhibition that has helped create a new platform for wool in the 21st century toured the world from September 2011 to November 2013.

The Wool Modern exhibition, curated by Charlotte Lurot, showcased the aesthetic, environmental and technical benefits of wool with stunning fashion pieces, installations and products.

Its fashion pieces combined a look through the wool archives of iconic fashion designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Thierry Mugler and Sonia Rykiel, with innovative new pieces by renowned designers and brands including Giles Deacon, Mark Fast, Alexander McQueen, Erdem, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, plus brands from the country in which the exhibition was touring.

Campaign for Wool Patron His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales opened the Wool Modern exhibition at La Galleria in London during the UK's Wool Week in September 2011.

The exhibition launch was attended by representatives of fashion, interior design, wool suppliers, manufacturers and retailers, and stars including Academy Award winning actor Colin Firth and his wife Livia Firth, herself a keen advocate of sustainable fashion. All were in attendance to support the campaign and its message that wool is the fibre of the future.

In his speech at the launch, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales said he found the response to the Campaign for Wool, launched the previous year, was enormously encouraging.

"What has been most remarkable about my Campaign for Wool is the spirit of partnership it has managed to engender. It brings out the best in everybody who has been associated with it," he said.

"Retail partners, who are quite rightly the fiercest of competitors, are prepared to stand together in support of this campaign - manufacturers and designers from all disciplines have unleashed their creativity to show just what this fibre can deliver. And, significantly, the major wool growing nations of the world have united for the first time in anyone's memory.

"Witnessing the combined power of all these supporters is truly inspiring and gives us hope that, if we come together, it is possible, at the end of the day, to encourage people to find genuinely sustainable solutions to the vast array of environmental problems we now face."

 

THE WORLD TOUR

Following its run in London, the exhibition travelled to Germany where it took over the Galeria Kaufhof store at the Alexanderplatz in Berlin.

The exhibition then journeyed in April 2012 downunder to Australia - the largest producer of Merino wool in the world. On this leg of the tour, exhibits by 19 Australian designers - including Akira Isogawa, Josh Goot and Collette Dinnigan - were added for the local audience's pleasure.

In October 2012, Wool Modern travelled to China, to Bund 18, Shanghai's celebrated art and design centre. Eight new Chinese designers participated in the exhibition including Qui Hao (winner of the Woolmark Prize in 2008), Vega Wang and Ma Ke Wuyang. The show was opened by fashion icons Angela Missoni and Colin McDowell.

The three years journey of showcasing the charms of wool on a global scale finally came to an end in Seoul, South Korea in November 2013. More than 200 VIP guests from the media, fashion brands, fashion designers, trendsetters and power bloggers attended the opening of the exhibition in the new cultural venue Ara Art Centre in Seoul.

Curator Charlotte Lurot said the globetrotting exhibition focussed on the modern, innovative and avant garde use of wool throughout the creative industries across both apparel and interior uses.

"Working alongside amazing local designers and artists has added another level of innovation and again taken my breath away with the possibilities of one fibre," she added.

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