The Mandatory Stopover: THE TEMPORARY FASHION MUSEUM – Text by OG
It is in Rotterdam, a city better known as an economic and logistical centre, that we take a deep-dive into the world of fashion. Endorsed by one of the industry’s most hair-splitting of curators, The Temporary Fashion Museum has one mission – to denude fashion’s brains.
The seemingly permanent freeze that has trapped fashion for the last decades will be investigated at Rotterdam’s HET NIEUWE INSTITUUT (architecture and urban development), where its successes and failures (social and ecological impact of clothing) will be completely undressed. Taking place in an urban space built in 1993 by Architect Jo Coenen, this exhibition aims to give “humble fashion” the space to analyze itself, and in doing so, the chance to understand different periods of profit and physical manipulation. However, whether observing the commercial arena that fashion operates within, or the physical nature of the garments themselves, The Temporary Fashion Museum will always return to its central focus on the driving force of innovation and creativity within the industry. It will operate as today’s cultural portfolio.
Multiple archives will be open to the public, covering broad subjects such as “individualism vs. street vulgarity”, and “vintage as the longest collection ever”. Private companies have also offered their collections specifically for the occasion, providing a variety of interactive experiences for visitors (you can even try on a pair of classic black pumps, available from size 28 to 48!). The idea here differs from the approach of most museums that immortalize individual designers in commercial solo shows. Rather, The Temporary Fashion Museum aims to generate a steady stream of visitors the whole period round, provoking a wider discussion on fashion, and to revive the speculative intellect fashion has lost. This is evident in the planned open lectures, library, cinema and interactive exercises (visitors can dress up paper-dolls throughout history!), which weave the story of fashion into a wider context.
Throughout the vast installation halls one can expect a “muddy-ness” rather than “mad-ness” – a proud nod to the host city’s famous industrial heritage.
For what was once no more than a dam constructed upon the Rotte River, Rotterdam’s ascent and rebirth offers the perfect backdrop to the story of fashion – a story that rises and falls with the tides.
THE TEMPORARY FASHION MUSEUM – 13/08/15 until 08/05/16.
Het Nieuwe Instituut
3015CB – Rotterdam (NL)