Heritage, an exhibition by Alice Klouzková at Gallery UM, introduces the traditional textile techniques of Bohemia and Moravia and the possibilities of their use in clothing design. Her project proves that traditional handcraft techniques have not yet disappeared and can exist as a functional element of contemporary fashion design.
The exhibition showcases the recent resurgence in collaboration between local manufacturers and designers, a current global trend that emphasises traditional handcraft methods and production as a way of meeting the needs of ecological and ethical approaches to fashion. Heritage tells the stories of regional producers, detailing their rich history and unique skills. Part of the exhibition also looks at the role of the defunct institution – the Centre for Folk Art Production (Ústředí lidové umělecké výroby – ÚLUV).
As well as putting the issue into historical context, the exhibition also presents the practical output of Alice Klouzková’s doctoral thesis – a new innovative fashion clothes collection with a strong emphasis on handcraft. All of the clothes have been made in collaboration with local master craftsmen and traditional Czech companies that continue to employ the unique skills and knowledge handed down over generations.
Alice Klouzková is one of the leading fashion designers of her generation. Her extensive studies are inspired by tradition and deal primarily with handcraft techniques. Pavel Ivančic, Head of the Fashion Design Studio at UMPRUM (Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design in Prague), says: “Heritage is Alice’s dissertation thesis on the topic of reinterpreting traditional textile techniques in the context of contemporary fashion design. It’s a major achievement and represents an invaluable contribution to the professional archives of the Fashion Design Studio. Not only does the work artfully and originally reveal our own national identity, it innovatively applies it to the present day.”
The exhibition’s installation, created by Lenka Míková, consists of two main elements – items suspended in space and work desks. The techniques used to make them come across as visually clean, minimalist and almost abstract. They are complemented by Tomáš Brabec’s series of photographic portraits of craftsman, including reports from their workrooms, as well as a video by Karin Zadrick of Alice Klouzková’s clothes collection.
The exhibition is also accompanied by the publication, Heritage – Tradition, Innovation, Fashion, which sheds light on traditional textile techniques and their application in fashion design. A number of renowned experts have also contributed to the book, including Lidewij Edelkoort. From technical texts and interviews with craftsmen, the reader will learn about the history and actual process of production and about the current uses for the various techniques. The publication also includes a rich visual element, using unique archival materials from the Centre for Folk Art Production along with reports from workrooms. The graphic layout of the book is designed by Adam Uchytil, who imbues the project with his own personal, iconoclastic take on tradition, highlighting his individual approach to interviews and the text itself. Adam is also the creator of the project’s logo, which beautifully combines three symbols in one pictogram (hand, heart and head) to symbolise the key principles of the arts and crafts movement.
Creator: Alice Klouzková
Visuals: Adam Uchytil
Architectonic presentation: Lenka Míková
Photos/videos: Tomáš Brabec and Karin Zadrick
Curator: Andrea Březinová