Cross Culture, an exhibition at The Art Institute of Washington, right across Fort Myer Drive from the Rosslyn metro, offers some extraordinary fashion. The exhibition features women's dresses, necklaces, and photography that bring together from around the world people, fabrics, colors, and styles. Curator Tanisa Sharif has beautifully arranged the exhibition, with Yulia Gorbachenko's stunning fashion photography exquisitely complementing the dresses.
The designers featured in Cross Culture have impressive records of accomplishment well-reflected in their contributions. Stella Bonds, whose latest line is swimwear "inspired by nature, fantasy, and wildlife," has contributed a day dress with a leapord-patterned bra bodice and a light skirt "reminiscent of the traditional La Pollera Columbiana" used in folk dancing. Designer Ean Williams, who won the "INDIE Best Menswear Designer" award in New York in 2003, shows a turquoise, Indian-inspired satin dress. Designer David Joseph has contributed a Spanish rose dress in charmeuse silk and lace. Joseph started his own design company when he was 19, and he has gone on to sell designs to clients in 28 countries. Isolda Marie Meade presents a Gothic Lolita dress that draws upon contemporary Japanese fashion and popular culture. Meade is a New-York based designer who graduated with a degree in Fashion Design from Marymount University in Arlington. Rosah Chaava is showing a luscious Zambian Batik dress. Chaava is currently a student at the Art Institute, but she has already designed a full collection of clothes. Riffat Zaman, who has worked on issues of culture, economics, and international trade for the World Bank, New York City, the Netherlands Foreign Ministry, and the U.S. Department of State, shows a sari made from a Chinese woven silk georgette fabric. Metaphorically summarizing the show, jewelry designer Pamela Nieto has collected unique works of nature from around the world and put them together in beautiful necklaces.
With Cross Culture following right after Crystal Couture, Arlington is becoming a fashion hotspot. You can at least use that as an excuse to express yourself in your own style.
Cross Culture is showing through October 31 in a ground-floor space just to the right after entering the Art Institute's lobby at 1820 North Fort Myer Dr. This not-to-be-missed, free exhibition is open Monday to Thursday, 9am to 8pm; and Friday and Saturday, 8am to 5pm.