What happens when a garment that was designed to be worn enters a museum as a crisp, new envelope, without the storytelling potential of wear and tear? When clothes are deprived of fleshy embodiment, as per museum archival guidelines, what else can they do? This exhibition considers a selection of designer fashions purchased second-hand and “off the rack” by Mark Pollack (RISD BFA 1976, Textiles). They are part of an ever-expanding group Pollack acquired to donate to the RISD Museum with the intent that they be “lavished with love” as a design resource.
Sensory experiences blossom in the investigations in this gallery. Through the amplifying lenses of a digital microscope, a roving camera, and a digital embroidery machine, space collapses and new conversations develop. In this place of immersive intimacy, where the garment itself becomes the body, landscape, and subject, the mind can wander. We invite you to slow down, look carefully, and find your own portals to sensing fashion.
Alexandra Emberley, RISD MFA 2023, Textiles
Kate Irvin, Curator of Costume and Textiles, RISD Museum
Lisa Z. Morgan, Associate Professor and Department Head, Apparel Design, RISD
RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.