Last evening at the opening of Being Played at World Chess Hall of Fame, designer Michael Drummond, below, commented that his year-long effort to create a narrative about the effects of the fast fashion industry on the environment “almost killed him.”
In this exhibition Drummond, a veteran of Project Runway Season 8, has connected the issues surrounding climate change with the stresses the fashion industry places on the environment, and arranged them as a chess game. To illustrate the challenges climate change poses, Drummond looked for a famous chess game as inspiration. He found it in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey when Dr. Frank Poole plays against the supercomputer Hal 9000.
I have to admit that I was so engrossed in how beautiful Drummond’s creations are that I was not thinking about a chess game at all.
In the handsome exhibition catalog published by WCHOF, Drummond says that “It’s a tricky predicament to simultaneously give yourself over to the glamor and fantasy of fashion and yet be repelled by the industry’s excess and its hold on the public psyche.”
Drummond used a “variety of fabrics in his creations both natural and man-made including laser-cut synthetics, clothing spun from steel, hand-crafted shoes (see Drummond’s own which I assume are handmade, below), and digitally-printed accessories.”
Being Played remains on view at World Chess Hall of Fame until March 22, 2020. I suspect you’ll want to return often (as I do) to study Drummond’s craft, it’s quite amazing. Perhaps on one of my visits I’ll figure out the game Being Played as well.
WCHOF, 4652 Maryland Ave., (314) 367-9243, Mon&Tues. 10 to 5, Weds.-Fri. 10 to 9, Sat. 10 to 5, Sun. 12-5.