Redefining Fashion Through Accessibility: Mode Brut

September 4, 2021–January 23, 2022

San Francisco, CA (June 15, 2021) – In collaboration with Creativity Explored, the Museum of Craft and Design is excited to announce Mode Brut on view from September 4, 2021 through January 23, 2022. Mode Brut is an accessible fashion-related exhibition that highlights artist practices through textiles. Focusing on fashion as art practice, this exhibition showcases four collections of inspiring new fashion lines made by designer teams alongside local developmentally disabled artists. Participating collaborators include: Creativity Explored Studio Line, led by instructor Victor Molina; community art collective Bonanza; queer advocate and model Yanni Brumfield; and San Francisco-based haute couture fashion brand Tokyo Gamine.

As a contemporary art center for developmentally disabled adults, Creativity Explored has been celebrating alternative creation processes for almost 40 years. Artists at Creativity Explored work with textiles on a daily basis and Mode Brut is a continuation of a fashion tradition at the studio. This exhibition challenges visitors to think past the familiar modes of apparel by redefining what, and who is fashionable. Mode Brut encourages the viewer to consider the role fashion can play in responding to questions about accessibility, body shapes for adaptive clothing, gender and identity, use of odd or recycled materials, and more.

Four mannequins with outfits Works from Creativity Explored Studio Line by Kathy Finn-Gamino, Steven Liu, Miriam Munguia,
and Ethel Revita, produced by Victor Molina. Image courtesy of Graham Holoch.


Creativity Explored Studio Line

At the heart of the exhibition, Mode Brut features over 50 Creativity Explored artists* through a collaborative line produced with Victor Molina. Molina brings their art to life while taking a critical view of the current fashion world. Working with donated fabric and clothes, Molina begins the process by considering the artist’s personal aesthetic and then works to interpret it through each piece. One example within the line is work by Creativity Explored artists Steven Liu and Miriam Munguia (pictured above, far right). Liu is known for his love of drawing and for this line, decided to draw classic art historical figures on fabric. The completed drawings were then delivered to Munguia, who brought the pictures to life with her detailed embroidery, outlining the figures and shapes. Molina then took their work and produced it into a tunic and pants set.

Molina notes “Even if it looks like there’s not, there’s always a ton of effort in our artists’ work. Nothing the artists do is careless. Our artists’ fashion choices are definitely impacted by their respective disabilities. Most CE artists are very conservative in what they choose to wear, so for me to make bizarre clothes with the idea that I’m representing the studio is false. The studio really isn’t fashionably so ‘out there.’ Also, because of one’s disability, sometimes, there is less choice of clothing based on availability or necessity. I’ve had to think about all these things for this project.”

Left: Bonanza gardening outfit made in collaboration with CE Artist Kathy Wen. Photo courtesy of Bonanza.
Right: Kathy Wen,
 The Great Wall in China, 2017. Image Courtesy of the artist.


Bonanza | Intersection between visual arts, ability, and fashion

Bonanza is the collaborative practice of Conrad Guevara, Lindsay Tully, and Lana Williams, whose work strategically challenges the fixity of identity through different forms of signaling, posturing, flexibility, and resilience. Inspired by working at home and wanting to dress a little extra, Bonanza’s collaboration with Creativity Explored artists Kathy WenKevin Chu, and Joseph Omolayole resulted in a series entitled Sewn by Spiders and includes day pajamas that are a mix of flare with coziness and a shock of color, and alternative garden wear. Inspired by Kathy Wen’s bold colors and cascading patterning, Bonanza noted, “We wanted to make a pajama-like outfit that looked like something Billie Eilish would wear while working in the community garden. These are outfits created in Shelter-in-Place and we wanted to reflect how SIP has changed our sense of personal style.”

Yanni Brumfield jacket made in collaboration with Creativity Explored artist Vincent Jackson.
Image courtesy of Yanni Brumfield.


Yanni Brumfield | Intersection between gender identity and street fashion

Ayana “Yanni” Brumfield is the founder of the annual limitless queer fashion show, which prioritizes increasing representation of people who look like them in the fashion industry. For Mode Brut, they collaborated with Creativity Explored artists: Joseph “JD” GreenVincent Jackson, and Gerald Wiggins. This collection includes original paintings and artwork on streetwear. Yanni pairs traditionally masculine garments such as jeans, leather jackets, and collared shirts with the bold graphic artwork of the Creativity Explored artists. Yanni describes their line as an “offering and direct reflection of Black under-represented folks” and that overall “there is a fierce, radical limitless tone, one of Self, Freedom of expression, gender non-conforming, and body positivity. It shows the audience you can be any version of you and express that in any way you like. It’s a statement of self-acceptance and love.”

Female in woods modeling blue textile coatTokyo Gamine coat made in collaboration with Creativity Explored artist Hung Kei Shiu. Image courtesy of Richard Van.


Tokyo Gamine | Intersection between design, community, and haute couture

San Francisco-based artist and fashion designer, Yuka Uehara is known for hand painting each of her designs, adding personalization and specificity to each piece. For her collection, she worked with artwork by Creativity Explored artists Yah KakabutraHung Kei Shiu, Anne SlaterMarcus McClureEmma ReyesCheryle RutledgeTaneya LovelaceYukari SakuraZachary Adams, and the late José Campos. The Tokyo Gamine collection explores the natural elements and incorporates artistic patterns found in the Creativity Explored artists’ work as well as abstract painting and intricate fabric forms. Uehara notes, “The [Creativity Explored] artists’ creations are personal and inspiring to the senses. I put together the fashion collection almost instantaneously in my mind. This featured collection explores the idea of oneness from chaos and harmony found in the natural world and each piece highlights a natural element expressed through a combination of geometric shapes.”

The visual display of these four collections in Mode Brut will allow organic narratives to take place while using a “fashion show” segment as the center of the story, aiming to create stylish, innovative, and humorous compositions. The virtual fashion show will feature participating artists and their collections and will be streamed online during opening week. The Museum of Craft and Design and Creativity Explored are honored to be able to present Mode Brut to the Bay Area and beyond and be part of a larger inclusive narrative.

Featured Artists* Include Ian Adams, Zachary Adams, Antonio Benjamin, Alissa Bledsoe, Pablo Calderon, José Campos, Kevin Chu, Linda Davenport, Samedi Djeimguero, Katherine Finn-Gamino, Christina Marie Fong, Michelle Gonzales, Daniel Green, Joseph “JD” Green, Maribel Guzman, Camille Holvoet, Jesus Huezo, Vincent Jackson, Kaocrew “Yah” Kakabutra, Andrew Lee, Ade Lewis, Delia Liu, Steven Liu, Taneya Lovelace, Marcus McClure, James Miles, Miriam Munguia, James Nielsen, José Nuñez, Joseph Omolayole, Nubia Ortega, Musette Perkins, Thomas Pringle, Paul Pulizzano, Yolanda Ramirez, Corine Raper, Ethel Revita, Emma Reyes, Irene Rivas, Kevin Roach, Cheryle Rutledge, Yukari Sakura, Hung Kei Shiu, Ka Wai Shiu, Anne Slater, Amani Swalim, Kate Thompson, Kathy Wen, Rory White, Gerald Wiggins, and Doris Yen.

*Artist list is ongoing and will be updated as new artists are added.

Support of Mode Brut is provided by Premium Sponsors Pamela and David Hornik. Additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts The California Wellness FoundationIndustrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), and HomeLight, IncMode Brut is made possible in part by the Gucci Changemakers Impact Fund from The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The Museum of Craft and Design’s exhibitions and programs are generously supported by the Windgate Charitable Foundation and Grants for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Robyn and John Horn, Hunter Douglas, and Dorothy Saxe.

 

Top Image: Group weave handbag created in collaboration with SAORI Arts, painted shoes by Jesus Huezo. Image courtesy of Graham Holoch.

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Press Images and additional information can be found here.

For more information and interview requests, contact Sarah Beth Rosales, Marketing and Communications Director (MCD) at sbrosales@sfmcd.org or Michael Korcek, Director of Marketing & Brand Partnerships (Creativity Explored) at michaelkorcek@creativityexplored.org.

About Creativity Explored
For the past 38 years, Creativity Explored has given artists with developmental disabilities the means to create and share their work with the community, celebrating the power of art to change lives. Located in the vibrant cultural and dining corridor that crosses San Francisco’s Mission District, Creativity Explored provides a supportive studio environment, including individualized instruction from mentoring artists, quality supplies, and professional opportunities to exhibit and sell their art. The organization establishes these artists’ work as an emerging and increasingly important contribution to the contemporary art world.

About Victor Molina
Victor Molina is a teaching artist at Creativity Explored, heralding from pre-revolution Havana, Cuba. After the revolution, his family moved to Pasadena, California and later Molina moved to Los Angeles, working as a fashion designer and illustrator. Running an equity waiver theater in Silverlake proved a formative experience, collaborating with a team of creatives much like our collective studio at CE. Later, Molina moved to Montreal where he started a clothing design company crafting one-of-a-kind items and collections for boutiques. Molina was first introduced to the CE studio in 2010 as a volunteer artist-in-residence, creating hat sculptures with CE artists.

About Bonanza
Bonanza is the collaborative practice of Conrad Guevara, Lindsay Tully, and Lana Williams. The singular name, Bonanza, acts as the persona for which they perform under and it is with this moniker that they challenge the notion of the singular, heroic artist. Bonanza’s diverse projects include installation, film, fashion and performance. Their work strategically challenges the fixity of identity through different forms of signaling, posturing, flexibility, and resilience. Bonanza’s work has been exhibited at Gallery 16, the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art and the Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art. They were the 2018 Artists in Residence at the San Francisco Recology Center, and recently finished their forth film, a gig comedy that satirizes the so-called sharing economy and the excessive demands it makes on its workers.

About Yanni Brumfield
Ayana Brumfield is a black, queer, non-binary, multimedia artist from Oakland, California. They are a community activist, public speaker, and event producer. Ayana is the founder of the annual limitless queer fashion show, which prioritizes increasing representation of people who look like them in the fashion industry. They regularly walk in New York fashion week, have been featured in Teen Vogue, Vogue, Allure, Paper magazine, and more. They curate discussion circles, food drives, and nightlife events; their life’s work is to uplift and help others find their confidence and live authentically. The foundation of Ayana’s work is bringing community together— because they know that together, we are stronger.

About Tokyo Gamine
Tokyo Gamine was founded in 2015 by designer and artist Yuka Uehara as a way to create couture in collaboration with her clients. Her designs take much inspiration from nature, mythology, and psychology and are often influenced by the wearer’s personal history. The label has since been seen on many red carpet events such as San Francisco Opera, Symphony, and Ballet openings and balls and several film events such as the Academy Awards. Tokyo Gamine is also responsible for dressing the SF Girls Chorus and the SF Symphony’s production of Candide and has produced two ready-to-wear lines.

About the Museum of Craft and Design
The Museum of Craft and Design (MCD) is San Francisco’s only museum devoted to craft and design. Founded in 2004, MCD showcases designers, makers, and artists through an exciting and distinctive series of craft and design-focused exhibitions and public programs. As a non-collecting institution, the museum actively collaborates with artists, designers, museums, and universities, as well as design venues and practitioners to create inspirational experiences in the world of craft and design for visitors of all ages. Learn more at sfmcd.org


Visitor Information
The Museum of Craft and Design is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM and Sundays 12:00–5:00 PM. Masks will be required for all visitors and available at the front desk if needed. For more information on MCD’s safety policies and to purchase tickets visit sfmcd.org/visit.

The Museum of Craft and Design is located at 2569 Third Street (between 22nd and 23rd), in the historic American Industrial Center in San Francisco’s vibrant Dogpatch neighborhood. MCD is a North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) member, a Blue Star Museum, and participates in Museums for All and ROAM. MCD offers free admission to our nation’s active-duty military personnel, essential workers, first responders, and their families.

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