HAPPENINGText: Rei Inamoto

Although the show had many promising individual elements – fashion, architecture, music, video – the event as a whole fell extremely short of what it really could have been. Overall, the biggest weakness of the event was that individual elements did not integrate well. It seemed that the set-up was messed up to begin with.

1. The lighting in the main area of the fashion show was unimaginably horrible, making it difficult for the audience to see the show itself.

2. While having two shows happening in one space was an interesting attempt, it did not quite work well for the audience. If you were on one side of the space, you could only see one of the runway shows. And it was almost impossible to move to another side of the space unless you went outside and entered from the other side, or aggressively pushed your way through an ocean of people.

3. What did not really help in the show were the video projections. Whether meant to be stimulating or not, they were visually very poor and weak, not really adding much to the whole experience.

Some of the explanations in the event catalog sounded as if they were trying to compensate for these situations. For instance: “The runway show invites the audience to become active participants in the show, moving from one runway to the other, defining their place within the context of the two presentations and the space that exists in between.”

It is true that this little text in the catalog asked the audience to move. However, if that were the intention of the organizer, the show should have been designed in such a way that it would really “invite” the audience to participate. Unfortunately, there was no such indication (unless you read the catalog in the dark of this event space).

Also, as evident in the catalog explanation above, some explanations in the catalog and flyers were very empty words – words without concrete thought. This is a tendency, in any catalog of a so-called artistic event like this one, that using incomprehensible phrases may prove the sophistication and validation of a show and work. This, I think, only works if and only if the show and the work have strong thinking behind them and they themselves are executed as strongly as the thinking. For most part, neither was the case for Fashionlab 2000, unfortunately.

Despite all the negativity, the main component of the show – the works of the two fashion collectives – was quite strong, and this event definitely has a great potential to become something with extreme high quality in the years to come.

Fashionlab 2000
Date: September 23rd, 2000
Place: Eyebeam
Address: Office F1, 185 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249-3120
Tel: +1 347 378 9163

Text: Rei Inamoto
Translation: Mayumi Kaneko

[Help wanted] Inviting volunteer staff / pro bono for contribution and translation. Please e-mail to us.