Gene Sherman: “Fashion is misunderstood, many people still think of it as a shopping”

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G-die Sherman do not buy clothes Most people buy clothes. Of course, she will pick up a T-shirt from time to time, but when she wants something substantive it must meet certain criteria. It should be black, avant-garde, created by a specific Japanese designer. And, it must be fun enough to replace one of the 35 garments already in her closet, as there is a “retirement” for every new dress.

For Sherman, fashion is not about glamor – it’s about creativity, a form of art that she values ??very much. “I think the fashion is a bit misunderstood, many people still fashion as a shopping, I never think of it as shopping.
As we met, she wore her accustomed black, a sculptural coat with a long skirt with a silver hardware Yohji Yamamoto belt. She wore an oversized silver ring with tiny, portable glasses on her nose.

Her wardrobe – or, as she described, her collection – was designed by Issey Miyake, Comme desGar?ons and Yohji Yamamoto, and was acquired by Australian designers Alistair Trung and Akira Isogawa. The wisdom of Japanese fashion design has always attracted her.

She said: “I like the concept of (Japanese fashion design), someone explained that it has the idea behind.” There is a wisdom that is sewing on the beads, as I think it is great, not because I do not appreciate this Kind of craft – but this is not enough for me.

Over the years, her fashion collection has been important enough, and in 2009 she donated 60 pieces of clothing to the Power Museum. No Vinnies for this fashion collector.

Art and thought have always been the core of every aspect of Sherman’s life. She holds a Ph.D. in French literature and was the driving force behind Sydney’s commercial Shearman Galleries for 21 years, followed by the non-profit Sherman Foundation for Contemporary Art (Scaf).

They are highly respected galleries of contemporary artists such as Ai Weiwei, Sean Gladwell, Fiona Tan and Brooke Andrew and others, but Sherman admits they spent a fortune, especially Ska husband. “Even if I did the first budget, the price was expensive, but the costs went up as time went by, and as I grew more ambitious, everything I did seemed to be growing.”

So ten years later, she was content to shut Skav off earlier this year. But she did not want to stand up. Although she is 70 years old, she needs a new challenge. “I’m still energetic, but I have a lot of goals – spending less money, more time, not too many deadlines, and doing things that others have not done.”
This month, she launched the Scirp Center for Culture and Thought (Scci-pronounced sky). A group of art reporters gathered at the Spaf launch at the old home in Paddington, on the outskirts of Sydney.
In his opening speech, Sherman described Scci as the place for “exchange of ideas.” In the next five years, the center will host two creative festivals – what Sherman calls “hubs” – one in April each year focused on fashion; the other in October focused on architecture.

The two-week festival will have an intensive lecture, seminar and demonstration to address the ideas behind these art forms, though there will not be any exhibitions. Sherman said: “The connection between all these categories is an extended concept of art – culture, not art, just like the picture on the wall.”

With just four regular staff, Scci will become a small cultural player but ambitious. It will collaborate with the Museum of Art and Applied Sciences, the Australian Film and Television Institute and the University of Technology Sydney.

“With these big organizations, we want to exchange ideas, share connections, and we want to build larger, richer and more intensive programs that we can do separately, but we can do better together,” said Sherman.
Emmanuel Coquery, director of the Grand Palais Exhibition in Paris, Japanese designer Akira Minagawa and Vogue India editor Bandana Tewari and other international speakers will be the fashion festival. Will discuss fashion writing, ethical fashion, fashion art, fashion business and fashion in the future.

Reporter Claire News will lead the discussion on fashion ethics and she said she was pleased to see Scci tackling the thinking behind the fashion industry: “When business takes over, ideas can often be lost or ignored, and of course modern-day business is powered by commerce. As velvet ropes have been lifted and fashion is also gaining in popularity, we’ve seen an explosion of festivals, pop ups and exhibitions in fashion, but how many of them are about creativity? I can not figure it out. ”

Fashion is close to Sherman’s heart, but she is interested in architecture. Skav conducted a series of exhibitions entitled “The Escape Structure,” focusing on emerging architects. Sherman was surprised by their popularity. “I realized I had a totally undeveloped architectural student, a student of design, an audience of industrial design students, and no one catered for it.” The details of the building portfolio are yet to be announced.

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