19 November 2014
by João Guarantani
A creative collaboration between Alison Welsh and Shamji Vishram Vanker
Bunka Gakuen University presents Hand Made, an exhibition by British fashion designer and textile artist Alison Welsh. The exhibition showcases a series of unique, hand made womenswear garments that have been developed in conjunction with rural artisans in the Indian state of Gujarat and at Manchester Metropolitan University.
The collection highlights the previously overlooked design potential of Kala Cotton, an organic and indigenous species grown in Kachchh, in northern India. Unlike most Indian cottons grown today, which are genetically modified and often hybridized, Kala Cotton is genetically pure and extremely resilient. Welsh’s garments celebrate the virtues and natural softness of the material, fusing British and Indian heritage cutting techniques with a more minimal western fashion fit and sensibility. Her silhouettes are loose and flattering, making the most of the distinctive patterning of the woven cotton.
The innovative designs are inspired by traditional Indian detailing and pattern cutting methods, which Welsh has skilfully translated into contemporary womenswear.Welsh worked closely with Bhujodi master weaver Shamji Vishram Vankar, to develop a range of organically dyed fabric designs exclusively for the project. The garments exhibit traditional hand embroidery and embellishment, carried out by the women of the Rabari community in Bhujodi.
Hand Made has been realised in conjunction with Indian crafts support agency Khamir. Working with the organisation and local growers, weavers, tailors and embroiderers, Welsh has created beautiful garments from fabrics made of this exceptional breed of cotton. The research hopes to deliver positive social and economic impact to the rural artisans of Kachcch, through the creation of new and sustainable products, and the promotion of Kala Cotton to the international design community.
18-26 November 2014 - 10:00-16:00 (closed Saturday-Monday, 22-24 November, due to Labour day Holiday in Japan)
F Building Gallery
Bunka Gakuen University, Tokyo