WOVEN works of wooly art and design, from fashion to avant garde artworks, will be showcased at 18 on the Bund from Tuesday to Sunday in a campaign to promote use of the natural fiber.
Works in the "Wool Modern" exhibition include archival fashion pieces and interior decor items made with fiber by Thierry Mugler, Courreges and Vivienne Westwood.
Works by China's up-and-coming fashion designers and artists are also exhibited.
The exhibition is part of the global Campaign for Wool, an initiative pioneered by Woolmark, a trademark owned by Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI), under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales.
Shanghai is the first Asian stop for the exhibition after London, Berlin and Sydney.
The project curator Charlotte Lurot is the lead producer of London Fashion Week and has produced numerous shows in London, Paris and Milan.
In this exhibition, she focuses on 21st century woolen works in fashion, product design, fine art and manufacturing technology.
Q: What's the purpose of the exhibition?
A: We aim to demonstrate the breath, depth and versatility of wool as a medium and material for the creative industries; to inspire consumers, the media and a new generation of creative people. (We showcase) the super versatility and solid eco-credentials of the amazing fiber.
Q: How did you select Chinese designers working in wool?
A: We did a great deal of research into exciting young Chinese designers in fashion, interiors and product design.
There is a wealth of talent in China, a really exciting perspective that fuses tradition and heritage with their own unique world view. The works of these designers seem to be filled with optimism and hope, and approached with unfettered enthusiasm. I particularly love the methodologies of Zhang Lei and Jovana Bogdanovic and their brand From Yuhang and really admired their recent installation at Salone del Mobile in Milan. I've also been a fan of fashion designer Vega Zaishi Wang for a while. Her unorthodox and slightly rebellious approach give rise to highly original but infinitely marketable collections. Xander Zhou, who recently showed his collection in London, Mo Jiao, Zhen Feiwang and Hou Zhengguang have also contributed brilliant pieces.
Q: What's the highlight?
A: The exhibition is a collective statement, as opposed to any single piece. As new creativities join the exhibition, the overall narrative subtly shifts and the message about wool changes, takes on a cultural relevance. It is a very powerful thing to see the work of 60 brilliant creative minds, all working with the same material, in one place, at one time. I plan the installation rigorously, but invariably I find the need to change things during the set up, as dialogues and juxtapositions are created between pieces. That process for me is the most exciting.
Q: Is there a fashion trend in using wool since the launch of Wool Modern?
A: Wool has always been a go-to fiber for the fashion industry, particularly in winter. However, I have noticed designers using the beautiful lighter-weight wools in cruise and spring collections. I also feel that their attitude to wool has changed somewhat. While it is an ancient fiber, it has taken on new significance for the young 21st century designer, thanks in large part to its profound environmental credentials, its sustainability, and from a creative perspective, because of its unrivalled versatility.
Q: Where does the exhibition go next?
A: We are exploring moves to Tokyo, Seoul, Madrid and Paris between late 2013 and mid 2014. At each location we look forward to working with new local talented fashion and interior designers and artists to show what can be done with wool in the new century.