Hi! Fashion to open at the National Design & Craft Gallery on Saturday, 12 August

Posted 03.08.17

Hi! Fashion, a dialogue between Ireland and Japan, to open at the National Design & Craft Gallery on Saturday, 12 August

l to r: Comme des Garçons (SS10 Collection); Anrealage (SS13 Collection); Lainey Keogh (Underwater Life, Watching the River Flow 1997)

Hi! Fashion, an exhibition exploring and celebrating fashion design from Japan and Ireland, will open at the National Design & Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, at 4pm on Saturday, 12 August 2017. Commissioned by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) and curated by Gemma A. Williams, this new exhibition will present fashion and accessories that explore the visual correlations and contrasts between designers from the two islands.

As part of the 2017 programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan, Hi! Fashion will feature fashion from both countries side by side, revealing unspoken dialogues and creating new conversations inspired by the contrasting, cyclical and disruptive nature of the design process.

The exhibition will showcase garments from across six decades, starting with Irish designer Sybil Connolly who launched her couture line in 1957. The work of other significant and internationally renowned Irish designers will include: John Rocha, recognised as one of Ireland’s leading designers; Lainey Keogh who changed the face of Irish knitwear; rising international star Richard Malone; and Úna Burke whose designs have been worn by Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Daphne Guinness. Influential Japanese designers will include: Kansai Yamamoto, designer of David Bowie’s costumes during the 1970s; milliner Maiko Takeda, favoured by the singer Björk; and visionaries such as Issey Miyake, together with innovative contemporary makers like Anrealage and Noritaka Tatehana. Garments have been sourced globally from museum collections, designer archives and collectors as well as newly created pieces.

Gemma A. Williams commented: “Bringing these two islands together, this exhibition illustrates not only the global language of fashion but also reveals how it is underpinned by the fusion of concept and craft which is distilled by the intimate nature of individual approach and process. As a curator, I love the idea of experimenting with context and environment to create a new, abstract narrative from fashion’s forms.” 

In speaking about the exhibition, Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of DCCoI, emphasised the organisation’s continual aim to exhibit the creativity, skill and innovation of designers and makers from Ireland through the National Design & Craft Gallery programme. She added: “Placing Irish work within an international context allows us to consider the similarities and differences of processes and materials between Ireland and other countries. We are delighted to have commissioned this new exhibition to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Irish and Japanese diplomatic relations and to draw together the threads of the textile and cultural connections between these two nations, providing different perspectives and sparking new conversations among visitors.”

Curated by Williams and designed in collaboration with ROJI, Hi! Fashion is presented as part of the programme for the Kilkenny Arts Festival (11 – 20 August 2017) and runs until 12 November. It is also an official event in the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan, and is supported by the Japan Foundation.

Japanese designers: Irish designers:
Anrealage Aideen Gaynor
Issey Miyake Danielle Romeril
Comme des Garçons Derek Lawlor
Kansai Yamamoto John Rocha
Kenta Nishimura Lainey Keogh
Maiko Takeda Laoise Carey
Noritaka Tatehana Michael Stewart
writtenafterwards Richard Malone
Yohji Yamamoto Sybil Connolly
  Úna Burke

- ENDS -

For further press information, please contact Elevate PR, 01 662 5652

Tara Walsh - tara@elevate.ie / Emer Igbokwe - emer@elevate.ie


Hi! Fashion: Curator’s Introduction Saturday, 12 August, 3pm
Join exhibition curator Gemma A. Williams for an introduction to Hi! Fashion with a discussion on the ideas, pieces presented and the designers participating. Followed by the official exhibition launch at 4pm.

Community Craft Workshops & Installation: I (She) Was Here
 11-13 August, 12 noon-5pm
Stitch, sew and embellish textile silhouettes for a community installation, with Ruth Duignan

Leather Working Accessory Workshop with Úna Burke 
14 August, 6pm [B*] €
Learn traditional leather-working techniques to create your own bespoke accessory 

Kilkenny Arts Festival Workshops 15-17 August, 2pm + 3pm (5-11yrs), 4pm (teens) [B*] €
Creative craft workshops for children and teens: Japanese Woodblock with Debra Bowden, Fashion Eye-Con with Carrie Lynam and Kirigami Creations with Paul Bokslag

Primary School Textile Workshops 18 + 19 September, 10am + 11.45am (B)
Explore the exhibit and create dramatic sculptural headpieces with Carrie Lynam

Culture Night, Festival of Fashion 22 September, 5pm-9pm
Music, fashion and drop-in making workshops for all ages

Savour Kilkenny: Oishii! Tastes of Japan 28 September, 6pm
Experience the tastes of Japan with sushi expertly prepared by acclaimed Japanese chef Takashi Miyazaki

Junk Kouture TY Workshops Every Thursday in October, 1.30pm (B) €
Exploring and developing creative design ideas for Junk Kouture with Joan Brennan

Masterclass: Experimental Textile Techniques
13 October, 12 noon—5.30pm (B) €
Textile techniques inspired by knit, weave and Japanese lacework with Derek Lawlor

Late Date: Samurai Armour: Collections to Contemporary Craft
 13 October, 6pm
Join Audrey Whitty to hear about the Japanese armour in National Museum of Ireland’s collections while Derek Lawlor speaks about his contemporary evolution of armour forms

Family Design Day, Origami Kusudama 14 October, 10.30am + 12 noon (B)
Explore folds and structure to create flower forms with Marika Miklosi-Manning

Meet the Maker: Noritaka Tatehana 5 November, 4pm (B)
Noritaka Tatehana talks innovative design process incorporating traditional craft skills
with a demonstration of Japanese Yūzen-zome dyeing technique

Make:Shift Ireland, Innovation and Making Conference 
6 November, Dublin (B) €
International speakers discuss cutting-edge approaches to making. Book from 4 September at www.dccoi.ie

Masterclass: Crafting Fashion with Noritaka Tatehana
 7 November (B) €
Integrating contemporary design with traditional craft skills in fashion for designers and students

School Gallery Visits, tailored for your class, from Primary to Third Level (B)

(B) - Book by email events@ndcg.ie or call 056 779 6151
[B*] - Book by calling 056 775 2175 / Events are free unless indicated with €


About the Curator
Gemma A. Williams is an Irish-born fashion curator and writer living in London. A graduate of London College of Fashion, Williams has worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Council, the Modemuseum, Antwerp and Irish Design 2015. Her practice focuses on global emerging markets and fashion tourism. In 2015, she authored Fashion China, an illustrated look at China’s contemporary fashion scene, published by Thames & Hudson. She contributes to Business of Fashion, Now Fashion, Jing Daily and Vogue Italia as well as consults to Shanghai Fashion Week. www.fashionnarratives.com @Gemmacurates

About the Exhibition Designer
Steven McNamara is the founder of award-winning studio, ROJI. He is interested in creating experiences that engage people and promoting good design. Since representing Ireland at World Design Capital Helsinki in 2012, he has continued to showcase the best of Irish design by curating and designing exhibitions to critical acclaim from Wallpaper* Magazine, The New York Times and CNN Style. Steven was awarded Exhibition Design of the Year in 2016 and 2015, and Graduate Designer of the Year in 2014 by the Institute of Designers of Ireland. www.roji.ie

About the National Design & Craft Gallery
Established by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in 2000, the National Design & Craft Gallery is Ireland’s leading centre for contemporary craft and design. It exhibits Irish and international designers, artists and makers who push boundaries in their engagement with the making process. Its mission is to inspire appreciation, creativity and innovation, and it plays a critical role in building understanding of craft and material culture in Ireland. www.ndcg.ie

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the main champion of the design and craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has 64 member organisations and over 3,200 registered clients. www.dccoi.ie 

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