Alysse Bryson

Fashion Fictions Exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Step into the captivating realm of Fashion Fictions, where artistic innovation converges with the world of fashion and beyond. This extraordinary exhibit explores the uncharted territories at the crossroads of fashion and various cultural dimensions, revealing a global tapestry of experimental design practices that are reshaping the boundaries of creativity. With a panoramic perspective, Fashion Fictions navigates the fascinating landscape of research-driven, material-centric approaches that are reshaping the very fabric of the fashion universe. Amidst this creative renaissance, the exhibition pays homage to the courageous endeavors that challenge the norms of aesthetics, materials, and technology, reshaping the very essence of fashion itself.

At its core, the exhibit finds its namesake in Julian Bleecker’s profound essay “Design Fiction,” a rallying cry that heralds the emergence of transformation in the interplay between fact and fiction, reality and the near future, science and imagination. Here, within the liminal spaces, the visionaries of Fashion Fictions reside, wielding fashion as their medium to weave together emotions and ideas previously thought incompatible, offering bold propositions for the evolution of aesthetics, physical forms, and even our fundamental existence.

The Designers

The designers within Fashion Fictions draw from a mosaic of cultural heritage, science fiction, technological marvels, and a profound concern for the environment. In their hands, fashion becomes a conduit for the embodiment of novel realities and the celebration of hybrid identities. Unlike the nostalgic retrospectives that nostalgically echo the space-age motifs of yesteryears, these visionary creators chart new courses and unveil uncharted avenues for the imminent future.

The Exhibition

The exhibition comes alive through a triad of thematic narratives, each a gateway into the minds of these trailblazing designers. “Material Futures” uncovers the frontiers of materials research, unveiling the breathtaking synergy of technology and science that fashion embraces. “Aesthetic Prophesies” casts a spotlight on the designers who meld cultural legacies with speculative designs, crafting ensembles that breathe life into reveries. “Responsible Visions” delves into the ingenious ways designers intertwine adaptive reuse and upcycling into their explorations, propelling fashion toward a more sustainable future.

The Experience

Beyond the exhibits themselves, Fashion Fictions thrives through an array of dynamic collaborations and immersive programs. Within its walls, a creative research laboratory, curated by the brilliance of Material Matters from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, stands as a multifaceted haven. A nexus of creation, it is a workshop, studio, and classroom all in one, showcasing the evolving work of faculty and students alike, exemplifying the ethos of local design—a realm of critical inquiry, purposeful making, and design critique. It becomes a breeding ground for diverse dialogues, a stage for enlightening talks, and a crucible for design charrettes.

In the enigmatic space of Fashion Fictions, art and fashion intertwine with cultural heritage, technological leaps, and sustainable dreams. It is an expedition into uncharted aesthetic landscapes, a revelation of emergent narratives that traverse the boundaries between imagination and reality. As you embark on this journey, prepare to be mesmerized by the fashion of the future, where fiction ignites the spark of innovation and creativity knows no bounds.

If you find yourself in the Vancouver, BC area while this exhibit is still at the Vancouver Art Gallery, it is absolutely worth your time and the entry fee. My only regret is not buying the oversized coffee table book that recaps everything in detail that was on display.

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