fashion interactions/fashion curating now

Parsons and the Finnish Cultural Institute Present an Exhibition and Symposium Exploring Fashion and its Relationship with Contemporary Art and Culture

un fit, photography by Federico Cabrera (2012)

un fit, photo by Federico Cabrera (2012)

Exhibition: Fashion Interactions
November 11–December 11, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, November 15, 6–9 pm
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Parsons The New School for Design
66 Fifth Avenue, New York

Symposium: Fashion Curating Now
Saturday, November 16, 9:30 am–5 pm
David Schwartz Fashion Education Center
Parsons The New School for Design
560 Seventh Avenue, New York

NEW YORK, November 7, 2013—Parsons The New School for Design and the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center have partnered with the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York to present Fashion Interactions and Fashion Curating Now, an exhibition and symposium that explore fashion and its intersections with contemporary art and culture.

Fashion Interactions is a multidisciplinary exhibition that explores fashion culture by means of contemporary art, design and media. The exhibited works comment on the unsustainability of the fashion industry, analyze the relationship of fashion and corporeality, and investigate how people use clothes as tools for building their identities. Curated by Annamari Vänskä, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Fashion Studies at the University of Stockholm and Hazel Clark, Research Chair in Fashion at Parsons, the exhibition features work by Federico Cabrera, Heidi Lunabba, Jasmin Mishima, Anna Mustonen, Nutty Tarts, Timo Rissanen (Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons), Salla Salin, Heidi Soidinsalo, Saara Töyrylä and Timo Wright.

Among the featured projects is 15% by Rissanen and Salin, an assembly line around which a factory worker individually cuts, sews and presses ordinary white t-shirts, which accumulate in the gallery during the course of the exhibition. The work comments on the unsustainability of the garment industry, making visible its different facets like labor and waste. un fit, brings together artists Federico Cabrera, Jasmin Mishima, Anna Mustonen, Heidi Soidinsalo, Saara Töyrylä, and Timo Wright to create a live performance and installation that brings together dance, fashion, sound and video art. Dresscode is a community-based art project that deals with style as an indicator of social class. Artists Katriina Haikala and Vilma Metteri of Nutty Tarts and Heidi Lunabba photographed people on the streets of New York City in three different locations in August 2013—Madison Avenue, 161st Street in the Bronx and in Greenpoint in Brooklyn.

Fashion Curating Now is a daylong symposium focusing on the possibilities and challenges of contemporary fashion curating on a global scale. Critical points of view are stressed, as is contemplation of fashion’s kinship with art, design, industry, performance, and self-presentation. Speakers include Judith Clark, a professor of Fashion and Museology at the London College of Fashion; Kaat Debo, director of the Mode Museum in Antwerp; Shelley Fox, the Donna Karan Professor of Fashion Design and the director of Parsons’ MFA Fashion Design and Society program, and an award-winning designer who has created numerous experimental and innovative women’s wear collections; Nathalie Khan, a lecturer in Fashion History and Cultural Studies at Central Saint Martins, and an independent curator and researcher; Alexandra Palmer, senior curator at the Royal Ontario Museum; and Annamari Vänskä.

For more information, visit the SJDC website.

Fashion Interactions is realized in collaboration with the Centre for Fashion Studies (Stockholm University), and both the exhibition and symposium are supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and Frame Visual Art Finland.

About the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center is an award-winning campus center for Parsons The New School for Design that combines learning and public spaces with exhibition galleries to provide an important new downtown destination for art and design programming.  The mission of the Center is to generate an active dialogue on the role of innovative art and design in responding to the contemporary world.  Its programming encourages an interdisciplinary examination of possibility and process, linking the university to local and global debates.  The center is named in honor of its primary benefactor, New School Trustee and Parsons Board of Governor’s Member Sheila C. Johnson.  The design by Rice+Lipka Architects is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. For more information please visit

About Parsons The New School for Design
Parsons The New School for Design is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of design disciplines. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, please visit

Finnish Cultural Institute in New York
The Finnish Cultural Institute in New York aims to promote Finnish art, design and architecture in New York and in North America at large. The Institute runs an artist-in-residency program in New York and produces, curates and presents exhibitions and other events in collaboration with local galleries and museums. Its goal is to develop active collaboration networks with professionals and organizations within the field of visual arts. The Finnish Cultural Institute in New York is one of the 17 Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes abroad. It is a member of the EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) cluster in New York. For more information, please visit

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Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Location: 66 Fifth Avenue, New York
Gallery hours: Open daily 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m. Closed all major holidays and holiday eves.
Admission: Free
Info: Please contact 212.229.8919 or visit


79 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003


Media Contacts:

Deborah Kirschner
212.229.5667 x4310

Chris Chafin

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