"Itinerance" the traveling fashion show from IFA Paris completed the final leg of its international tour this past weekend. A celebration of the school’s 40th anniversary its closing appearance was at Art Miami where an unconventional runway show reiterated its message of multiculturalism, the spirit of mutual aid, and the imperative need for sustainability. All through the medium of fashion created by the graduating class of 2022. Ten selected outfits were paired with theatrical masks developed by artist Jase King for a performance that was presented before invited guests and media.
The journey began in the spring. After its inaugural Paris show "Itinerance" traveled to Bosnia where it featured in an event on fashion and migration with the UN Migrations Office of the West Balkans. Next stop Istanbul where it was hosted by the French Consul before a 2-month stay in Venice as part of the Art Biennale, then crossing the Atlantic to present at New York Fashion Week in September. Ahead of the Art Miami event, FashionUnited spoke to Jean-Baptiste Andreani, CEO of IFA Paris, about the strong bonds between the fields of art and fashion and their power to bring about a better world.
Why is Art Miami the platform to present the work of fashion students?
We already had the opportunity in 2018 to showcase the work of our students during Art Miami. They developed a dress and cape made entirely out of recycled plastic in collaboration with Shim Eco, a network of activists who use art to discuss important issues. The outfit was worn by French artist Alexandra Mas during a performance at Aqua Art to condemn pollution of the oceans. [Aqua Art Miami bills itself as the premier location for art aficionados to procure works by young, emerging and mid-career artists.]
So you have a history of placing fashion in the art space?
Yes. The aforementioned dress and cape were also showcased during the Venice Art biennale that same year. Now, our second time exhibiting at Art Miami, Aqua Art in particular was a natural choice as the perfect platform to showcase "Itinerance," which celebrates the school’s championing of diversity and inclusivity.
How will the show differ from your presentation during NYFW in September?
We are introducing new designs as well as masks from the same artiste Jase King to be paired together. The choreography will be more akin to an artistic performance rather than a standard catwalk. At Aqua Art the models will walk throughout the floors to the rhythm of “November” by Max Richter. We chose that specific piece as we believed it illustrated perfectly the state of mind of an artist, constantly struggling with creative highs and lows.
Do you think the fashion industry of the future will continue to be intertwined with the art world?
The fashion industry is already linked with the art world. There are lots of stereotypes around the fact that fashion is considered as a minor art. That is completely inaccurate. From the tuxedo of Yves Saint Laurent to the entire collection of Plato’s Atlantis by Alexander Mc Queen, fashion has always produced iconic pieces. Fashion is a language and the fact that purchasing a piece of clothing is easier than purchasing a sculpture or a painting allows for important conversations around issues like sustainability, gender fluidity, or human rights to be more accessible and democratized.