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Published: 22 Jan 2014

Fashion Meets Folk

New York’s American Folk Art Museum has opened the doors to its latest exhibition, showcasing custom-created garments inspired by folk art. Folk Couture: Fashion & Folk Art includes work by New York-based designers such as Chadwick Bell, Michael Bastian, Bibhu Mohapatra, Jean Yu and Creatures of the Wind.

The exhibition is divided into four themes: pattern, narrative, playfulness and disembodiment. Traditional techniques such as needle stitch, quilting and patchwork have been taken up by the designers to marry the unlikely pairing of fashion and folk art. Each designer’s creation is teamed with the piece of art or literature that inspired their design to illustrate the process.

Folk art was highlighted as a key point of inspiration in our Rewilding trend report – part of our Spring/Summer 2015 Industry Trend, Fashion in Flux. The report notes an increasing desire to return to nature, and the impact this attitude is set to have on fashion and design. Folk art, craft, traditional costumes and food preservation are all cited as significant influences for this trend.