Over 200 works of artist-designed fabrics, shown as garments, swatches, scarves and hangings, trace the 20th century in textiles. Organized by the Fashion and Textile Museum of London, the exhibition has toured in the US in 2014, and is showing in Toronto through October 4, 2015.
|"C'est pareil" fabric by Joan Miró|
That exhibit elevated my textile eye, lulled most days by pedestrian to only-decent fabrics. Not everything shown was couture level; we were especially charmed by a selection of day dresses from the English dressmaker Horrockses:
and a piece of upholstery fabric, in the whimsical "Wedding" pattern by Saul Steinberg:
When the exhibition was shown at Textile Museum in Lowell, MA, WGBH-TV in Boston produced a four-minute spot. Take a whirl through some of the highlights:
Amid textile-loving bees scooping their woven nectar, a British visitor in an especially exuberant print of scarlet, yellow and pink hollyhocks told us, "I'm here for fourteen days and I brought sixteen dresses!"
The exhibition's companion book, "Artist's Textiles, 1940-1976", is available through the Textile Museum of Canada's Gift Shop (price, $CAN 40), or on Amazon.