As we inch closer to whatever our new “normal” is going to look like, you may be wondering how to re-enter public spaces. Part of that is what you choose to wear. While it may feel a bit silly, for many, the realization of having to wear actual clothing out in public after more than a year is daunting. So much has changed. We, the big WE, are not who we were.
One way to express how we’ve changed is through what we choose to wear. Threads is a yearly event hosted by UW Madison’s Textile and Design students. This year’s theme is Reality? and explores how the challenges of living through a pandemic “have permeated everything from how we work, how we design, how we think, and how we dream.”
Carolyn Kallenborn is Jane Rafferty Thiele Professor in Human Ecology, and Textiles and Fashion Design Program Coordinator for the School of Human Ecology at UW–Madison. This weekend she and her students will host the UW–Threads “Reality? Virtual Design and Fashion” event, a socially distant, large-scale outdoor projection. It’s a virtual runway showcasing the work of UW-Madison’s Textile and Fashion Design students as they explore their new reality. The event will take place at Garver Feed Mill and it’s a chance for those who love fashion to experience storytelling and design.
Kallenborn says a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, and her work with indigenous artists changed how she saw the integration between the arts and our daily lives. In this episode of Radio Chipstone, Kallenborn tells contributor gianofer fields about how she uses what she experienced in Mexico to encourage her students to find a connection between how they approach design and the relationship to community and their authentic selves.
The Reality? Virtual Design and Fashion Event will take place this Friday and Saturday at Garver Feed Mill from 8:30-10:00 PM, and the projected film will be available on the group’s website after the event.
About the Host:
gianofer (JON nah fer) fields is an Art Historian and Material Culture contributor and curates the Radio Chipstone series. The project is hosted by the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and funded by the Chipstone Foundation; a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.
About the Guest:
Carolyn Kallenborn is the Jane Rafferty Thiele Professor in Human Ecology, Textiles, and Fashion Design Program Coordinator for the School of Human Ecology at UW Madison. Since 2003, she has been working with indigenous artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico. It has been a rich exchange of ideas and culture. The inspiration for her own artwork comes from her experiences in Mexico and learning with the artists and craftsmen there.
Image: courtesy of UW-Threads and sohe.wisc.edu