William Cruz Bermeo
Dress Creators, Creators of Worlds: A Gaze to the Academic Training of the New Colombian Fashion Designers
William Cruz Bermeo
Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Colombia
Medellín is a city with a textile tradition that go back to the early twentieth century, when its first textile industries emerged, in the shadow of coffee production. In terms of style, Medellín has always been dependent from French and American fashions. However, by the decade of the eighties, the first institute for fashion, and schools of design were established. In some extent, these were intended to configure an articulated system of fashion, nationwide, due to the economic importance of the national textile production.
But despite these advances, the setting up of a local distinctive style is still under construction, a style created by local designers; partly because designers and design schools were guided always by fads developed abroad, sometimes regardless of the perceptions of the body, the beauty, the self fashioning and the particular needs of the local inhabitants. Under this circumstance, the School of Clothing Design at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, established twelve years ago, focused on train designers capable to rethinking the dress and the body dressed in a particular context like ours.
After twelve years of work, the School reveals their perspectives on fashion and dress, by the book Creadores de vestidos, creadores de mundos (Dress Creators, creators of worlds). It is a rigorous collection of the work done during this time by students and alumni, accompanied by academic reflections written by teachers and program directives.
Therefore, in the 2nd International Non-Western Fashion Conference, we would like to introduce these approaches of our understanding of dress and fashion, contents in the book, in the following areas: Body, clothing and creation, discussing the experiences that transform the body from Aesthetics. Dress and identity, to address the issue of body dressed and identities staged. The dressed drama, focusing on the link between the plot of the dress and the dress as a drama. The dress as a product, trying to elucidate how work the mechanisms operating in contemporary fashion. Beyond the cover, providing a framework for understanding clothes from their ergonomic principles, biomechanical and
anthropometric. And finally, Dress as a statement to the world, to establish a relationship with the blurred boundaries between fashion design and art. All these topics would be exposed from our Latin-American experience, as scholars who understand the body, dress and fashion as a situated experience.