CanU’s Exhibition Highlights Collective Fashion History in China – WWD

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CanU’s Exhibition Highlights Collective Fashion History in China – WWD

A new exhibition in Shanghai takes a look at sustainable beauty and the historical value of old clothes.

Titled “Sustainable Mei,” or “Sustainable Beauty,” it is initiated by CanU, a Shanghai-based fashion sustainability platform launched by Dan Cui, an industry veteran and former GQ China fashion director.

In its second iteration, the exhibition expanded in size and scope with more than 100 pieces that explore the emotional multitudes of old clothes by examining archival pieces from prominent figures in China’s fashion and cultural scene.

“This exhibition is about emotions we associate with old clothes,” said Cui. “We realized that the items exhibited here, from writers to economists to governmental officials, is a truthful documentation of China’s socio-economic development in the last 30 years.”

Pieces such as economist Jiamin Zhu’s hat purchased using foreign exchange certificates, acclaimed writer Yucheng Jin’s Versace blouse, artist Honghong Wu’s archival “dynamite” dress that her husband, the artist Cai Guo-qiang designed in collaboration Issey Miyake, offered anecdotal proof of China’s rapid development.

Chinese celebrities, including Fan Bingbing, Zhou Xun, Dong Jie, Chen Kun, Chris Lee, Liu Wen, Wan Baobao also contributed pieces to the show.

More than 20 fashion designers such as Marine Serre, Pronounce, Oude Waag, Sankuanz, Samuel Guì Yang, Caroline Hu and 8on8 created upcycled pieces using deadstock fabric or waste for the exhibition.

Dedicated spaces for Dior, Burberry and Balenciaga, the exhibition’s main fashion sponsor, feature archival pieces that takes a look at the “micro-history” of the luxury maisons.

As a supporting brand partner, Louis Vuitton collaborated with a local artist to repurpose its trunk props used during the CIIE fair as gallery stools for the show.

The exhibition, which runs through Sunday, is located at Modern Art Museum Shanghai and is open to the public.

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