Next week October 1st, the Aran Jumper will feature as a part of an exhibition in the infamous Museum of Modern Art, New York. The exhibition, Items: Is Fashion Modern? is set to explore the present, past and (a bit of ) the future of fashion.
The exhibition will feature 111 items of clothing and accessories that have strongly influenced fashion around the globe, during the 20th and 21st century, and that still have a place in our hearts today. The MoMA have described the exhibition as the inclusion of clothing items that had “a profound impact on the world over the last century.” Some fashionable and timeless pieces will include items such as Levi’s 501, popular jeans with influencers to this day, and the LBD, an instant, glam choice for women around the Western world. The show will also include items with a cultural and political significance such as the sari, the kippah, and the keffiyeh. However, the item which we are most excited about in this exhibition is an item that is close to our hearts in Ireland, the Aran Jumper.
The shows organisers, Paola Antonelli and Michelle Millar have said that they have invited designers, engineers and manufacturers to respond to some of these enduring items with “pioneering materials, approaches, and techniques – extending this conversation into the near and distant futures, and connecting the history of these garments with their present recombination and use.”
The organisers have stressed the importance of the objects significance, and not the designers. MoMA hopes that this will bring to fore the items relationship between fashion and functionality, history, culture, aesthetics, politics, labor, identity, economy, and technology.
The Irish Origination & Growth of the Aran Jumper
Many generations ago, the Aran sweater was created on a small group of islands off the West Coast of Ireland, known as the Aran Islands, and this is where its name originated. From there it became steadily more popular over the years and in the 1950’s it exploded onto the American fashion scene when it featured for the first time in Vogue. The jumper has since featured in the fashion magazine almost every (I didn’t look at every year, but it’s in there A LOT) Christmas since, under such titles including Forget the garish and flammable knits of yore, this year’s Christmas jumper is a real gift, and Knitwear Wizards Sibling Re-imagine the Classic Aran Sweater. Decades later, its still a favourite with fashion icons including Alexa Chung, and Steve McQueen.
Since its beginning, the Aran Jumper has gone from strength to strength, and its appearance in The Museum of Modern Arts exhibition this Autumn/ Winter is a true showcase of how far its come, and how much of an affect its had on the world. The Aran Jumper is now made in Monasterevin, Co.Kildare in Aran Crafts, where you can find a wide range of knitwear for ladies, men and children.
The exhibition will run from October 1st to January 28th, so expect to hear much more about the Aran Jumper this Autumn/Winter!