Behind-the-Scenes With MoPop’s Fashion Exhibit Curators

Internationally acclaimed creative duo Sofia Hedman and Serge Martynov talk about 'A Queen Within,' their creative process and what’s ahead for the fashion industry
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Regardless of your personal interest in the fashion industry, one fact is certain: What we wear can be a reflection of our mood or communicate a personal statement. That goes to the heart of the Museum of Pop Culture’s (MoPop) latest exhibit: A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes. The exhibit curators seem to want you to consider the question: “Who am I?”

Through its visually stimulating motifs and thought-provoking narrative, A Queen Within examines the diverse nature of the feminine through six powerful archetypes: sage, enchantress, explorer, Mother Earth, heroine, and thespian. Pieces from classic and contemporary designers including Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Gypsy Sport, Hassan Hajjaj and Iris van Herpen, bring this idea to life.To get the backstory about this exhibit, we chatted with London and Barcelona-based creative powerhouse duo and exhibit curators Sofia Hedman and Serge Martynov of Mussea.

Seattle magazine: This earliest iteration of this exhibit debuted in 2013 at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis. Has it evolved since then?

Sofia Hedman & Serge Martynov: Many of the original garments from A Queen Within are in this exhibit. But we have updated the experience based on the world events over the past five years. For example, the Explorer archetype is very relevant right now as women are questioning the world and their surroundings, including topics around minority struggles, inclusive fashion shows and transgender rights.

SM: What are some of the standout pieces from the exhibit?

SF & SM: There is such a variety of amazing work in the exhibit for people to enjoy. But you should pay attention to the construction of Alexander McQueen’s pieces; his works is sublime.

SM: You are highly regarded for your work in creating immersive experiences. What do you hope visitors will feel as they take in the exhibit?

SF & SM: We approached this project with the understanding that humans are complex. There are six archetypes proposed throughout the exhibit and you might connect with one or two more than the others depending on your personality. It’s our hope that people leave feeling inspired and able to connect on a more personal level.

SM: It seems as though your work allows you to have a global perspective on the fashion industry. Where do you think it’s headed?

SF & SM: The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the world and we see consumers shifting to a mindset of consuming less. Also, many companies are turning to renting clothing to address this issue.

SM: In your opinion, who are some of the most interesting designers in business right now?

SF & SM: That is a very difficult question because there are so many! Both Chromat and Gypsy Sport are brilliant designers that promote inclusivity and body positivity. Sweden-based Selam Fessahaye is an expert at mixing materials and using bold colors to make powerful statements.

SM: What is an aspect of your work that our readers might be surprised by?

SF: We frequently find inspiration in the world around us and our work can be very spontaneous. I find a great deal of inspiration through what I see on the street. Sergio is inspired by plants and nature much of the time. There is also a nomadic quality to our lives that most people would be surprised by. One week we could be in Barcelona and the next in Sweden.

SM: What type of work are you hoping to create in the future?

SF & SM: We would like to create a park or sanctuary that is surrounded by art for people to enjoy. We frequently work with interiors but love the outdoors. This would be the best of both worlds.

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