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Vestiphobia

Vestiphobia is a project involving a performance, a workshop and a film series exploring our relationship to fashion, from the mere act of getting dressed, to its socio-economic impact. Under the umbrella of Ideal Glass, the New York art collective, the Vestiphobia team presented the first international production of the show in Havana, in Cuba’s premiere arts complex, Fabrica de Arte Cubano. As part of this project the collective developed collaborations with over thirty of Cuba’s top artists, designers, singers, and actors.

Written by Willard Morgan and directed by Steve Fagin, the performance is a four-act extravaganza of theatre, dance, fashion, film, art, and Musica Cubana. The four acts of the presentation dealt with the pretentions of the contemporary art world, exhibiting absurdist as well as documentary contemplations on fashion, a kinetic urban fashion mosh-pit of a runway gone amok, to a primal atavistic re-birthing of the dandy joined by his glamorous Cuban dominatrix doppelganger. To finish, Francis del Rio’s epilogue revisited the Special Period in his song about exchanging clothes and a shirt he missed dearly.

The term ‘Vestiphobia’ goes beyond clothing design, production and consumption. This title also includes deeper issues such as the situation of the workers in contemporary manufactures, and the economic conflicts they have to face. Fashion can be manipulated politically, economically, and it has had a decisive influence on history and its events.

It was difficult to select the Cuban artists for Vestiphobia because there is such a lot of talent, with great awareness of what is happening in the world. It’s been a great honor and pleasure to collaborate with them and develop our show through Cuban eyes and audiences!” – Willard Morgan

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