According to Unesco, 'traditional craftsmanship is perhaps the most tangible manifestation of intangible cultural heritage.'
This conference from the European Fashion Heritage Association, 'Crafting Heritage', moves from this concept to explore how fashion and its products - textiles, accessories and clothes - can inform a better understanding of the relationship between craftsmanship and heritage.
Crafts are an invisible thread which connects groups of people into communities who share the same knowledge, skills and traditions. The richness of European crafts is documented in the collections of hand-made objects such as jewellery, textiles and garments which carry distinct features of particular traditions and tastes as well as techniques and imagination unique to the artisans who made them. More recently, craftsmanship can also be seen in the use of analogue media technologies to produce sound and video recordings. Intangible knowledge, skills, techniques and traditions are just as important for the craftsmanship’s renewal in contemporary practices.
Divided into three main sections - Restoring, Reactivating, Resisting - the conference will present first-hand experiences of researching and developing techniques to preserve fashion objects and the knowledge they hold in their materiality; special projects in which fashion houses and local craft workshops collaborated; craft as resistance and 'language' of activism, to fight social inequalities and imagine a better future; preserving and updating making processes through digital technologies.