New Exhibition Proportion Distortion illustrates fashion design’s balancing act between the body and clothing, how the body can reject or embrace the line of a garment and how clothing can distort our physical form.
In Proportion Distortion five local emerging fashion designers – above, Simone Says, Elyse Barker, Anisha Bhoyro and Molly Herben – are exploring proportion and shape in the NGV Studio. The public can watch them work and demonstrate their processes as they play with the relationship between the body and garment, parading how proportions of the body are matched and tested against the design.
Proportion Distortion is essentially a design process exhibition, tackling what is, at its heart, a practical nuts-and-bolts topic in fashion design: size and shape. However, there are also rich underlying themes when it comes to the subject of proportion – the politics of the body and femininity, body image and the pressure to be thin, and the history of physical distortion in fashion, from cinched waists to power shoulders.
Despite the practical focus, some of these bigger issues should come to light in the series of discussions NGV are holding alongside Proportion Distortion. On Thursday October 25, there will be an opportunity to see design in action and hear a discussion between designer Nyssa Marrow and NGV curator Paola Di Trocchio on design processes, including pattern drafting, grading and adapting designs for different sizes. The closing event, on Friday November 9, will be another opportunity to meet the designers and interact with the clothing they have created during the residency.
Proportion Distortion runs until November 11 at NGV Studio, Ian Potter Centre. You can drop in anytime to see the designers at work, or attend the display and talk on Thursday October 25 at 6pm, or closing event on Friday November 9 at 6pm.