The Cutting Edge

Date: Nov 19, 2008 - July 7, 2009
Artist: Lyn Carter, Rashmi Varma, Lily Yung
Curated by: Patricia Bentley

Drawing primarily from the Textile Museum of Canada’s global collection The Cutting Edge tells the story of the garment – designed to protect, cover and beautify the body. From ancient uncut fabric, ornately decorated and flowing kimono to heavily pieced and shaped European garments, The Cutting Edge shows the transitions of fashion through time and around the world.

The exhibition, focusing on the process of making a 2-dimensional textile cover a 3-dimensional moving object (the body), is an exploration of human ingenuity. While its manufacturing is a feat of engineering, a garment’s capability to carry and translate meaning is even more fascinating.

The Cutting Edge explores clothing as communicator. Whether overtly reflective of cultural beliefs and attitudes or subtly suggestive and ambiguous, how we choose to dress is filled with meaning. The exhibition explores this idea through examining the differences between men’s and women’s garments as well as what parts of the body are concealed, revealed or exaggerated — always with a global perspective.

The discussion of fashion would not be complete without a long, hard look into the future. Fashion can be a conforming element reinforcing societal attitudes, but at the same time fashion can be revolutionary. The Cutting Edge features TMC artifacts in conversation with contemporary objects that range from the haute couture of Issey Miyake and Yoshiki Hishinuma, to the fashion designs of Rashmi Varma and Yumi Eto and the work of artists Lyn Carter and Lily Yung.