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“A conservator’s job is almost like being a humanitarian…once [clothes] are behind the walls of a museum, they are to be treated as human bodies, with attention, devotion, love and care.” — During his #PolimodaRendezVous, true Renaissance man Filep Motwary inspired the crowd to think deeply about the value of exhibiting fashion. Here’s an excerpt from his captivating lecture.
On April 18th, the Rendez-Vous series welcomed costume designer, photographer, journalist, fashion curator and author Filep Motwary.

A man of many hats, Motwary was born in Cyprus at the tail end of the 70s. He took his first steps in fashion as a stylist for the Greek editions of L’Officiel and Vogue, subsequently launching his own brand. In 2004 he moved to Paris, where he interned with John Galliano and Dior as well as Chloe and Phoebe Philo.

Many of his creations and bespoke pieces can now be found in museum archives as well as private collections. His costumes have been displayed in exhibitions held by prestigious international culture hubs the likes of Centre Pompidou in Paris.
“Practically speaking, the most important virtue of fashion is indeed the body that still needs to be dressed. Fashion reflects who we are and where we want to be, how we want others to see us, how we present ourselves to society, how we communicate with the self and with the others. This is why it can be considered a form of political expression. The second half of the 20th century was the moment when we started to see the exhibition as a form of understanding fashion by gazing at fashion itself and therefore ourselves, where we come from or where we are going. At this a particularly chaotic moment for the fashion industry questions like ‘At which city should a designer choose for a show? When should the clothes we see on the runways be available to buy? Who is hot in fashion and who is not…?’ are not relevant to the practice of exhibiting fashion…”

Filep Motwary is the author of THEOREM[A]: The Body, Emotion and Politics in Fashion published by Skira Editore in June 2018 featuring his interviews with Hussein Chalayan, Jean Paul Gaultier, Pamela Golbin, Iris van Herpen, Harold Koda, Michèle Lamy, Thierry-Maxime Loriot, Antonio Mancinelli, Suzy Menkes, Violeta Sanchez, Valerie Steele, Jun Takahashi, Olivier Theyskens, Viktor & Rolf. The publication is under the wing of Polimoda in Florence.

His first book, Haute-à-Porter (Lannoo 2016) examined the relationship between Haute Couture and Pret-a-Porter and was published on the occasion of his curatorial project presented at the Modemuseum of Hasselt from April to September 2016, featuring garments, accessories, photography, paintings and sculptures from more that 120 fashion designers, Houses and artists. Participants included Dior, Chanel, Yohji Yamamoto, Koen Van Mechelen, Thierry Mugler, Christian Lacroix, Vivienne Westwood, Giles, Giambattista Valli, Prada, Iris Van Dongen, Rick Owens, Gucci […]

Film by Vassili Spiropoulos