Manufacturing Mod: Metal Tunics to Paper Dresses; curated by CCST candidate Jamila Dunn

3 – 25 April 2004
Opening Reception: Friday 2 April 2004,  8 – 10 pm

This exhibition features a spectacular selection of original metal tunics by Paco Rabanne, extremely rare presidential candidate paper dresses for Nixon, Kennedy, Rockefeller, and Trudeau along with the Warhol inspired “Campbell’s Souper Dress,” and vintage magazines.

Manufacturing Mod: Metal Tunics to Paper Dressesexamines challenges to the couture industry in the mid to late 1960s. The garments imply simultaneous anxieties and curiosities about technological ‘progress’ and provoke questions about the interrelationships among 1960s women’s clothing design/production and an expanded market economy. Shifts in consumer culture, the global dynamics of the space race, new technology, and contemporary art intersect in these experimental garments. Paco Rabanne’s metal tunics reference medieval armor with a futuristic vision of clothing as an erotically revealing and decorative form. Paper dresses reject the pretense of corporeal protection while picturing icons of consumer culture and contemporary art. These experimental garments exemplify the utopian ideology of modern living and propose liberation from the labor of regular clothing maintenance and promise a carefree lifestyle – ideas that are as timely now as they were in the 1960s. Fashion, politics, and art were as entangled then as they are today.

Curated by Jamila Dunn. The exhibition is the second in a series curated by Master of Arts candidates in the Critical Curatorial Studies Program at the University of British Columbia. We gratefully acknowledge the support of The Alvin Balkind Fund for Student Curatorial Initiatives.

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