European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal EFHA World

“Journeys in the Archive” – Workshop with IUAV University of Venice

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Imagine taking a stroll in the EFHA archive, to defy time and space…that’s what the students of contemporary design cultures at IUAV University of Venice did with us.

Fashion has a particular relationship with time: it often characterizes it, sometimes it mystifies it, while others become its main expression and representation of a certain lifestyle. The objects that the archives contain are traces of a past and inform our understanding of the present in different ways, because they allow us to recover stories that are sometimes forgotten, and to reconstruct scenarios and atmospheres in which these objects were not yet museum artifacts, but did part of people’s lives.

A digital archive like that of EFHA, due to its nature as a database container for museums, foundations and institutions, allows you to virtually move between collections that are different in terms of formation and purpose, leaving the freedom to build new paths to recover the past, understand the present. and also imagine the future.

These reflections were at the basis of a conversation we started some months ago with our partners at IUAV University of Venice. We teamed up with Dr. Elena Fava, who teaches contemporary design cultures at IUAV, and developed an ad hoc project with her students to give them the chance to learn about our archive, play with it and use it in order to test their knowledge about the relationship between fashion and time.

The workshop consisted precisely in this: the exploration of the EFHA database to build a research path that substantiated – with objects, data and images – a reflection on some key words related to issues addressed in the course of contemporary design cultures: time; inspiration; originality; copy; creative languages; identity; history; past; future; radical approach.

Each group chose a theme and developed a research path in the archive, selecting the best objects to represent it and trying to articulate the reasons why these objects were linked to each other, or in any case significant with respect to the chosen theme. 

Stay tuned on our social media platforms, where we will unveil some of the most compelling and fascinating journeys into the EFHA archive.