Textile art is something we come into contact every day, from the clothes we wear to the objects that decorate our home. It is an art that can be simultaneously beautiful and useful; one of the oldest form of art in human civilization. In the beginning it was focused on practical purposes such as clothing or blankets to keep warm. As the time passed, textiles became more complex; everything had to be done by hand, including the gathering of fibers from plants or animals and then twisting them to make it into yarn. The industrial revolution was a turning point for textiles with the invention of the cotton engine, spinning jenny and power loom that automated the creation of fabrics which made possible its production in massive scale.
Among the popular techniques in textile art are: weaving, embroidery, knitting and crocheting. While many textile artists use traditional techniques as a starting point for their work, others deconstruct them to create innovative and impactful work. With its countless of visual possibilities, contemporary textile artists showcase the vast differences that are possible when dealing with fabric, thread and yarn. Examples are: the use of weaving to create architecture-inspired wall hangings; the use of crochet in thin wire to create sculptures; the use of embroidery on unconventional canvases like tennis rackets; cross-stitches designs into metal objects and so on. However, the original focus of the use of textiles continue to thrive through the fashion world. Although many articles of clothing are still made for a purely utilitarian purpose, contemporary designers imagine garments as spectacular pieces of fabric art that are put on blank canvassed bodies. Some designers take that idea literally with dresses that resemble framed paintings or that become a mobile canvas.
As an example of Fashion as Art in Bolivia, CBAT celebrates the magnificent national costume created for the Bolivia's Miss Universe contestant.
The National Costume competition is a huge part of Miss Universe competition where the delegates wear their traditional attires reflecting the culture of their countries. Miss Bolivia’s (Lenka Nemer) national costume is titled ‘La fuerza de los Andes’, designed and manufactured by Jhesmani Fernandez with the support from the Qhapac Ñan Art company in the city of La Paz with original fabrics, more than eight meters of Kaito weaving, made by the weavers of the town of Huari.
Links with information and video about the typical Bolivian dress:
Lost Tiempos article on Miss Bolivia's national dress
Costume details : video by Promociones Gloria
Typical Bolivian dance related to Miss Bolivia's dress
Bolivian Fashion Designers
Aida Sanchez: Bolivian Designer, expert on contemporary fashion with detailed experience in creative direction. She holds a degree from FIT (Fashion institute of Technology) in Pattern-making Technology and she is traditionally trained in the fashion industry. Sanchez began her career in New York City. Her creative collaborations are within the fashion industry in New York, Paris, London and Rome. She is an industry insider and a strong advocate of mentoring students and aspiring designers in Fashion Education focusing the business of fashion.
Her German-based brand, AIDA SANCHEZ ACCESSORIES has been recognised for creating beautifully crafted and innovative soft accessories since 2000. Her creations have been presented for the past 20 year during the official calendar of Paris fashion weeks and has been available through luxury retail locations such as Neiman Marcus, Lodenfrey, Holt Renfrew, Isetan and historic department stores across Europe, North America and South America.
Bringing a unique understanding of the creative and commercial sides of fashion, Sanchez has emerged as one of the leaders of the global fashion industry. She believes there shouldn’t be a divide between the study of fashion design and fashion business courses and that design talent is the true driver of the fashion industry.
For more information about Aida Sanchez, please visit Aida-Sanchez-webpage
Museums & Exhibitions
FTM - Fashion and Textile Museum in London
5 Contemporary Textile Artists to Celebrate During Women’s History Month