Created more than a decade ago, the Art and Fashion event emerged at a crucial time for the sector, as the limitations of the so-called ‘Special Period’ (the 90’s of the last century) had caused a decline in the production of clothing.
For this reason, along with the purpose of encouraging designers to use non-garment fabrics, recycled materials, natural objects, flora and fauna, and the rich variety of fibers in the country, this event was born.
The Art and Fashion event is without a doubt an artistic spectacle, linking design with plastic arts and creating experimental clothes – not wearable, but carrying an artistic message.
In an exclusive interview with CubaPlus Magazine, Rafael Méndez González, Director of Arts and Fashion, explained that in addition to the experimental materials used, the clothes highlight design concepts, structures, and cut shapes that could be considered for fashion in the future - the starting point of Art and Fashion.
“When we first started with the event in 2003, we didn’t think that time would pass so quickly. Over the years we created a collection and that is why, this year, we made the Remix collection: A look back, a look at clothes of long ago, with a message still very much in force”, he said.
“Art and Fashion includes works by Cuban and foreign artists”, continued Méndez. “For example we had an exchange with Austria that was called ‘Interlacing cultures’, with Austrian and Cuban artists and designers participating. The event also included guests from Bolivia, Italy, the USA, facilitating dialogue between cultures and learning other ways of doing things”, he said.
“In order to keep this dialogue alive, this year we recounted the event’s beginnings to present and invited young designers Yohania Cabrera and Juan Carlos Morales. She was inspired by the work of an American artist, Lucy Lewinsky, while Juan Carlos Morales and Jorge A Pérez made a piece inspired by one of Gertrudis Rivalta’s works, a Villa Clara artist”, Méndez added. In reference to the importance of this event for the country’s culture Méndez considered that Art and Fashion, which is held every two years in the National Museum of Fine Arts, constitutes a contribution in the sense that it allows designers to do research and experimentation that would not normally be done.
“‘Here the designers are involved in a very productive exercise, in search of the work and materials they use, because they have to explore with new materials, experiment with colors, structures, and forms of art that can also at some point be part of the everyday design”, he concluded.