January 23, 2018 - The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts - Omega Workshop
January 23, 2018

The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts

Fawn Krieger, OUTFIT, 2016.

Omega Workshop
An Experiment in Counter Fashion
January 26–March 10, 2018

The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts
EFA Project Space
323 W. 39th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10018
United States
Hours: Wednesday–Saturday 12–6pm

T +1 2165635855244
projectspace@efanyc.org

www.projectspace-efanyc.org
Facebook / Instagram

Omega Workshop
An Experiment in Counter Fashion
January 26–March 10, 2018

The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts
EFA Project Space
323 W. 39th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10018
United States
Hours: Wednesday–Saturday 12–6pm

T +1 2165635855244
projectspace@efanyc.org

www.projectspace-efanyc.org
Facebook / Instagram

Opening: Friday, January 26, 6–8 pm

Artists: Carmen Argote, Elaine Byrne, Nick Cave, Sky Cubacub, Frau Fiber, friends of light, Abigail Glaum-Lathbury, Ruby Hoette, Project KOVR, Fawn Krieger, Jennifer Moon, Marloes ten Bhömer, Marisa Williamson, Andrea Zittel

Curated by the Rational Dress Society

Omega Workshop functions both as a survey of contemporary experiments in revolutionary and utopian dress, and as a laboratory for exploring alternatives to the current fashion system.

Since the birth of fashion in the 19th century, counter-fashion—the practice of dressing to signal political solidarity—has been a site for critical intervention and utopian experimentation. Fashion is often mobilized to effect political change in moments of unrest. Omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet, suggests clothing for “end times.” In Omega Workshop, our clothes are reconceived as acts of resistance in dark times.

Omega Workshop brings together artists, designers, and activists who mobilize the language of clothing to critique the existing fashion system, offer alternatives, and collectively reimagine our relationship to dress. It features experimental garments that represent a variety of approaches. Examples include Andrea Zittel’s Personal Panel Uniforms, 1994, a uniform for daily wear based on the geometric designs of Soviet Constructivist fashion. Fawn Krieger’s 2016 project, OUTFIT, is a line of modular, unisex garments informed by East German and Soviet mail order catalogues. Sky Cubacub’s Rebirth Garments represent a new movement in QueerCrip dress reform: gender-nonconforming wearables for people on the whole spectrum of gender, size, and ability. Marloes ten Bhömer’s footwear critiques the fetishistic portrayal of the high-heel shoe in mass culture; Bluepanelshoe, 2013, employs kinematic and anatomical studies of the female foot in motion, producing a design that rejects gender stereotypes.

Coinciding with New York Fashion WeekOmega Workshop offers a necessary counterpoint to the industry's consumer-driven spectacle in New York’s historical Garment District. The diminishing footprint of the Garment District, once the largest employer in New York City, is a direct result of the fast fashion economy. Dominated by fast fashion conglomerates such as H&M and Zara, producing massive amounts of cheap clothes at a rapid pace, contemporary fashion has become an industry whose labor practices and environmental impact are unethical and unsustainable. 

Omega Workshop's site will house a workspace and public forum, where guests may learn about the politics of the fashion industry and attend workshops to make their own experimental clothes. 

Related events 

Kamiko / Handmade Japanese Paper Clothes with Daphne Mohajer va Pesaran
February 3     
Sew a Transformational Soviet Hippie Poncho! with Frau Fiber
February 4 
Copyright, Trademark and Sumptuary Law Panel Discussion
February 7
Fashion and Democracy Panel Discussion 
February 8
Make-your-own-JUMPSUIT with the Rational Dress Society
February 10-11
Unpick the Fashion System (workshop) with Ruby Hoyette
February 16
Worker Co-operative Principles with friends of light
February 17
History, Anatomy and Construction of a Pocket with Michaela Hansen
March 4 
Closing Reception with performance by Rebirth Garments
March 9


The Rational Dress Society is a counter-fashion collective founded by Chicago-based designer Abigail Glaum-Lathbury and Los Angeles-based artist Maura Brewer. Together, they produce JUMPSUIT, an open source, ungendered monogarment to replace all clothes in perpetuity. 

EFA Project Space, a program of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, is a collaborative arts venue founded on the belief that art is directly connected to the individuals who produce it, the communities that arise because of it, and to everyday life; and that by providing an arena for exploring these connections, we empower artists to forge new partnerships and the expansion of ideas. The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (EFA) is a 501 (c) (3) public charity in Manhattan, offering three core programs in support of artist practices: EFA Studio Program, EFA Project Space Program, and EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop.

EFA Project Space is supported in part by public funding from the Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council, and by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. 

Omega Workshop is sponsored by GESSO, The Garment District Alliance, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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