From 16 September to 17 December 2023, la Galerie du 19M presents the exhibition “Carla Fernández. The Future is Handmade”,
an immersion into the world of the stylist and designer through her collaborations with Mexican artisans, whose art and savoir-faire she celebrates.
As creator, designer, and founder of her eponymous brand, Carla Fernández works at the forefront of ethical fashion,
documenting and preserving the textile heritage of the indigenous communities of her native Mexico.
For her, fashion is more than a space for creation, conducive to formal experimentation—it is a place for reflection and sharing.
Each item of clothing is not to be understood only through its aesthetic qualities, but for the social issues, stories, and identities it embodies and the materials and techniques it carries on.
In an approach combining research, activism, and craft, Carla Fernández Casa de Moda develops action and thought,
both in its Mexico City studio and with the country’s many indigenous communities, with whom the designer co-creates clothing and accessories.
The encounter with le19M and several of its resident Maisons, like Maison Michel, is an opportunity for Carla Fernández to establish what she refers to as “mirror collaborations”—
exchanges that allow each party to listen to the other, but also to experience another world in order to understand the specificity of one’s own gestures and trades.
The exhibition invites you to discover the charrería. A tradition resulting from successive displacements, from North Africa to Spain and through to Mexico,
the charrería is an equestrian performance traditionally practised by cattle-breeding communities which has been an integral part of Mexican identity since the colonial period.
As a centrepiece of their silhouettes, the horse riders’ hats are reinterpreted by Carla Fernández with Maison Michel’s expertise.
In a version with oversized proportions, the spectacular charisma of the charros are brought together with the techniques used in the workshops of the resident house of le19M.
Two astonishing stories that echo each other in their blend of dexterity, strength, and precision.
A recurring motif in Mexican iconography – the tzompantli – is a wall of skulls originated in the Aztec civilisation of the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries.
The installation designed by Carla Fernández in collaboration with Maison Michel makes reference to this through a composition of masked hats.
But the designer reinterprets this pre-Columbian reference with a new spirit: the monument becomes that of a celebration of sharing and collaboration,
the affirmation of a creativity that is shared through motifs and techniques.