In November 2015, Te Papa purchased three Space Between garments for their contemporary fashion collection, which looked specifically at ‘disruptive’ practices. The collection focused on acquiring work by designers actively engaged with the problems inherent in the fashion industry in the 21st century, namely sustainability.
The three Space Between garments that were purchased were aimed at showing each of the techniques used in our Fundamentals collection; our Pieced Leggings, Conjoined Long Dress, and Spliced Sweater Dress. The acquisition of garments from Space Between provided a contemporary example of ‘upcycling’ and fulfilled the museum's interest in activism.
In addition to the three garments, the Space Between website was captured by the National Library. Te Papa also acquired some of our online collateral (including videos), supporting the museum’s dual aim of actively engaging audiences and encouraging them to use their collections as a resource.
Claire Regnault, Senior Curator of New Zealand History & Culture at Te Papa, says “Te Papa set out to stake a claim as a player within the New Zealand fashion world. Te Papa sought to strategically position itself as the Kaitiaki (Guardian) of New Zealand Fashion. Six years on, what are the ramifications of the so-called end of fashion to such a positioning? What and how should we be collecting? Is dress museology better equipped than fashion museology to respond to the perceived changes as outlined by Lidewij Edelkoort in her Anti_Fashion: A Manifesto? As the fashion system changes, what museological systems need to be revolutionized in order to collect, interpret, and share fashion in this fast changing environment?”