About Fashion Speaks
The story of this project goes back to when Ludmila Christeseva moved from patriarchal Belarus to Sweden, a country of gender equality. Chasing her dreams, she entered the Swedish haute-couture fashion industry, led by Lars Wallin. At this point, fashion would become a platform to both pose questions and to seek answers to the artist’s personal inquiry into the nature of femininity and cultural identity. And discarded toiles – recycled test versions of new designs from the fashion industry – would be a basis for the artistic investigation into whether we are born women or do we become them, and how different cultures influence our understanding of ourselves as women.
The Fashion speaks project focuses on the theme of femininity, extending and enhancing the perception of fashion beyond the expression of individual identity. Contrasting conceptually and ideologically with the idea of the established Fashion Week, it aims to disrupt the current paradigm of the fashion industry. It uses fashion as a tool for spreading consciousness of important social and political issues, facilitating dialogue and the search for creative solutions.
Art installations with the toiles have been exhibited at the Museum of Army in Stockholm (2016), in the US Ambassador’s residence in the Diplomatic area of the Swedish capital (2016), in the Nordiska Museum (2017), just to name a few. Putting toiles-sculptures into the context of nature and city streets turned them into a language and a message, created by women, about women, for women – but also for the rest of the world.
In 2018 the Fashion speaks team has participated in Fashion Week Stockholm and the UN Women Orange Day, raising awareness about women’s rights and violence against women worldwide. The toiles-sculptures have also been brought to Bergman’s Center on Fårö to mark Ingmar Bergman’s centenary since his birth by creating an artistic dialogue with the complex representation of womanhood in Bergman’s films.
Fashion speaks today is more than art. It is an educational platform, which aims to spread knowledge and support scientific research on gender, identity, and femininity. This includes lectures, workshops, cross-cultural collaboration and fertilization, study visits programs, exhibitions, and panel discussions. We are open for collaboration with universities and institutions within the arts, fashion, social studies, and communications.
This project is far from being only an expression of oneself through art. It is a form of social dialogue. And it is an invitation to think about fashion as an engine for helping us to achieve social progress and create a sustainable future. Fashion speaks to make you speak, too. Together we will find the answers.
Welcome to join our team on this journey!
More about the author at: www.christeseva.com