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Showcasing Fashion: The Near Future

Emotive Set Design / Cognitive Environments / Multisensory Spaces
a one-day conference on Wednesday, 22 September 2010 to be held in the Lecture Theatre 
at the Victoria and Albert Museum – London.
Casting a spotlight on the art of exhibition, a conference on set design for fashion runway shows. How to produce spectacular 
results that engage the audience in a multi-sensorial experience. A series of talks by high-profile visionaries in set design, architecture, 
costume design, art, lighting design and event production.
6 September 2010. On 22 September the world’s largest design museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, plays host to an inspiring conference dedicated to set design and installations for the fashion industry. It is the first time that an entire day has been devoted to this topic and with such a wide-ranging and versatile approach. Organised by the International Festival of Scenic Arts (IFSArts), a cross-border festival that has for a number of years presented conferences and workshops while documenting the technical achievements and the creative potential of scenic arts in every field of application:  from theatre to film and television, from live performance in its myriad forms to set designs and installations placed within an urban setting and destined for entertainment use.

In recent years technical achievements in scenography have advanced at such a rapid pace, leading to creative heights that were inconceivable a decade ago; coupled with an equally astounding revitalisation of figurative arts, these were clearly premonitory signs of the opening up of new and broader horizons. The IFSArts team are dedicated to exploring this fresh terrain and are proud to present a second edition of the festival at the V&A following the success of last year’s event. This year we focus on a sweeping analysis of  the structural and architectural aspects of a runway show, when scenic elements are employed to such a degree as to merit recognition of their creative impact on the catwalk.

Throughout the day we will be looking at ways in which leading practitioners of scenic design work their particular brand of magic on a given project. Architects, artists, lighting designers, researchers and educators gather in the debate while aiming to explore the theme through an exchange of transversal and converging experiences. A rich and varied picture will emerge, in which scenography, art, architecture, lighting and virtual reality intersect, thus providing a measure of insight into how set design for interdisciplinary projects becomes engaging and spectacular, enlivening public interest through a multisensory experience.
We are proud to announce our speakers, designers of international renown: Patrick Kinmonth, stage and costume designer, artist and stylist and Michael Howells, set designer for film, theatre and catwalk shows. They are joined by the American lighting designer AJ Weissbard, noted for working with directors the calibre of Robert Wilson, Peter Stein, Bernard Sobel and Peter Greenaway, and the Italian artist Mario Canali, a pioneer in electronic art and immersive virtual reality systems. We also welcome to the podium a prominent architect from Milan, Fiammetta De Menti of Studio Keyart – Architecture and Urban Design, who centres her research on advanced technologies, strategies and communications geared towards  the design and development of sustainable  structures and multisensory environments. Artist and inventor Di Mainstone creates body-centric sculptures for performance. Kinetic couture, musical prosthetics and sensory skins are just some of the interactive devices Mainstone has fashioned. A live performance of the Serendiptichord – a wearable musical instrument that invites the user to compose a soundscape through touch and expressive movement – follows Mainstone’s talk.
Research and vocational training are vital  components of the design industry so representing this field are   highly skilled researchers, educators and practioners who specialise in  fashion design, curation and performance: Judith Clark, co-director of MA Fashion Curation, London College of Fashion (LCF); Greer Crawley, senior lecturer in Spatial Design and pathway leader of Design for Film, Television and Theatre and Exhibition Design at Buckinghamshire New University in the UK; Donatella Barbieri, joint LCF/V&A research fellow – MA in Costume Design for Performance.
Last but by no means least, firms represented by APIAS, the Italian umbrella trade association of leading  producers of equipment for the entertainment industry, also play an important role. One such key player is Spotlight Professional Lighting for the Performing Arts represented by its CEO, Nicolò Oliva, whose talk is themed on the evolution of professional lighting from opera house to fashion and design.


2 thoughts on “Showcasing Fashion: The Near Future

  1. Can anyone participate at this conference? I’m a student in scenography, in Paris, and I’m very interested in this conference.
    Thank you for your answer!

    Posted by Iana | September 7, 2010, 11:17 pm


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