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Has been extended until October 2 at the: 

 A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum 

Center for Contemporary Arts-MARS 


The State Historic Museum Exhibition is closed.






General Director A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum

Chairman of the Organizing Committee

Head of Project


The title of our project INNOVATIVE COSTUME OF THE 21st CENTURY: THE NEXT GENERATION may seem too avant-garde for the artistic search industry.  The term “innovative” is customary for a market economy. This is how a new or significantly improved product or process, a new sales or a new organizational method in business practice, workplace organization is defined. Innovative development today is becoming one of the determining factors of national success of the economic strategy all over the world.

What is innovation in art?  In other words, something new or updated thanks to the earlier achievements?  Actually, the whole history of art is a dynamic update of the aesthetics of styles and genres.  Even when it seems that the new completely denies the previous, in fact any avant-garde is invisibly connected with the art of the past.  So, this is a constant movement: “Innovatio”---"towards change”. It turns out that innovation and art are inseparable. Theatrical costume, in particular, and the costume in a wider context in the field of performing arts is the focus of our project.  How do young artists who have actively entered the profession in the last ten to fifteen years, reflect the changes in our life, whenever they occur? This reaction is extremely important for all of us to understand the global mental shifts in the social and cultural space of the new century and the millennium of human civilization.  An amazing panorama of images arises in the works of artists represented at the exhibition, connecting an inventive and exquisite form with bright colourful and sensual context.  You can see how problems common for artists from different countries unite them in their work, how an artistic search leads some of them to natural forms, others to abstract constructions.  The creative palette of this artistic movement is the least quiet and calm water surface. On the contrary, one wave rises above another, and it seems that somewhere near is the culmination of the tenth wave, beyond which a new harmony of our being can arise.

I am sincerely grateful to Igor Roussanoff and Susan Tsu for this fascinating journey, which thanks to their patience, perseverance and intuition, is successfully completed.  The project, of course, could not have taken place on such a scale without the active participation of regional curators and employees of the Bakhrushin and the Historical museums.  An important contribution to the project was the support of OISTAT (International Organization of Scenographers Theatre Architects and Technicians), USITT (United States Institute of Theatre Technology) USA, CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) USA, NACTA (National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts) China, TATT (Taiwan Association of Theatre Technology) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland.

Uniting around the project of many people and organizations can certainly be considered our joint achievement.  And most importantly, the audience will see the work of young artists and will be able to experience the joy of empathy in search of beauty and truth, both in art and in life.




Artistic Director



There is no future without a present, as there is no present without a past.  -Alexandra Exter


INNOVATIVE COSTUME OF THE 21st CENTURY: THE NEXT GENERATION is the second large-scale project from the series, COSTUME and TIME.  This new project represents experimental work of young designers from more than 40 countries around the world.  At this exhibition, you will see a range of work for theatre, fashion, and performing arts from designers who began their professional careers between 2000 and 2019.  This project continues research into the development of modern theatrical-visual thinking in the spirit of the previous exhibition, COSTUME AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY: 1990-2015, which provided the international community the premier opportunity to become more familiar with the art and development of theatrical costume of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  This exhibition presented a wide palette of work by artists for both experimental and traditional forms of theater and created a unique opportunity to consider the main and important trends in the development of the design of theatrical costumes on a global scale.  It showcased over 1,500 pieces by more than 250 designers from 30 countries representing different generations, social status, and cultural heritages. This exhibition, with all of its variety of styles, ideas, and opinions, allowed us to analyze, compare, and evaluate creative searches in the interpretation of the artistic representation of theatrical costume in the transitional period of the 20th and 21st Centuries.  It made an invaluable contribution to the enrichment of the artistic and theatrical vocabulary of our contemporaries.

Taking into consideration the special place that innovative costume has gained during the last four decades, be it in the theater, fashion, or in performance arts, as well as in such new directions as costume as a living sculpture, installation, art-object, or as wearable art, we concluded that it is important to consider innovation from the point of view of transforming habitual into unusual.  From the beginning, we declared that that the exhibition INNOVATIVE COSTUME OF THE 21st CENTURY: THE NEXT GENERATION, would be an important tool for research in the field of non-commercial design and for studying the role of costume in contemporary art, including theater, opera, and ballet, as well as fashion in the daily life of society.  We were interested in the phenomenon of what the costume is for us today and how it is seen by the next generation of new, young artists.


Our goal was to provide an opportunity for young designers eager to reveal their creative ideas and dreams to surprise and inspire viewers with their always exciting and intriguing, unexpectedly attractive with fresh elegance, and bold, not always clear, even sometimes disturbing, aesthetics of the future.  I want to believe that this exhibition will once again be able to persuade others to appreciate the importance and necessity of self-expression for innovative artists, for whom the search for the new is a natural and essential part of their own existence. The culmination of this project is the publication of a comprehensive exhibition catalog, as well as a three-day costume festival and symposium that will set a precedent for international dialogue on topical issues in the field of innovative costume, as well as contemporary theater and culture in a globalized community.  In conclusion, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Head of this Project, General Director of the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theater Museum, Dmitry Rodionov, for his courage, resilience, and many years of generous support on this major international project; to the incredibly brave and amazing Chief Curator of the exhibition, INNOVATIVE COSTUME OF THE 21st CENTURY: THE NEXT GENERATION, the irreplaceable Susan Tsu for her countless sleepless nights and the thousands and thousands of emails that she had to write, read, send and re-send over and over again for the past two years; and to all regional curators, the participants of this project, and the staff of the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theater Museum and the State Historical Museum in Moscow for their hard work, understanding and support; as well as to everyone who participated in the creation of this complex, multinational project.


This project is the result of a collaboration between the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theater Museum, OISTAT (International Organization of Scenographers Theatre Architects and Technicians), the State Historical Museum min Moscow, USITT (United States Institute of Theatre Technology) USA, CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) USA, NACTA (National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts) China, TATT (Taiwan Association of Theatre Technology), and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland.


With an open heart, I welcome you to our project, INNOVATIVE COSTUME OF THE 21st CENTURY: THE NEXT GENERATION.  I hope you will find here many new and exciting ideas and get acquainted with these amazing artists who are coming to Moscow to meet you.


Together, we will change the world.




Chief Curator


Representing two years of active curation and organization, our exhibition, sharing the work of the world’s young theatre and fashion visionaries, is enormously exciting and meaningful to me. Theatre holds a mirror up to life’s events, and costume design brings visual acuity to the human condition.  The exhibition in Moscow offers a way of bringing people together to learn about each other’s challenges, hopes, fears, and premonitions of the future. In our own small way, I hope the work will promote greater understanding and a coming together of the nations of the world.   


I am pleased to report that we collected 1323 submissions from 938 designers.   112 Curators and their assistants from 60 nations engaged in Phase I (National) Curation!  Igor Roussanoff (Artistic Director) and I then selected 300 exciting submissions augmented by 63 videos from 50 nations in Phase II for the curators at the Bakhrushin Museum to begin Phase III Curation- determining the final selections. 


There are now 250 designers who have been selected to present over 300 designs. The exhibition contains costume designs in renderings, photographs, videos and 3-dimensions from designers who entered their fields and created innovative work between 2000-2018.  Costume design for cinema, opera, ballet, theater, devised work, installations, performing arts, and fashion is included. Inventive designs of students, young professionals and independent costume and fashion designers, as well as makers are featured.


We live in urgent, volatile times where the instantaneous dissemination of world news challenges us to respond as a global community.  As media, technology, and shifting national/political/racial/gender identities form us afresh, so too our perception and practice of theatre is breaking old boundaries.   With this in mind, we provide an opportunity to view the work of costume designers from around the world without judgment or discrimination against their gender, race or the national/social/political/economic environment they inhabit. 


The world in which we live is struggling with an immigrant crisis that is shifting the way in which people are voting for their governmental leaders, and many countries are grappling with fierce polarities within their populace. This exhibition catalogue stands as testament to the enormous contribution that immigrant creators have made in their newly adopted nations.  Despite national differences, the designers within these pages have shown us that shared themes that address identity, gender equality, environmental awareness, costume activism, redefinitions of what constitutes costume/clothing and skin, and the fragility of existence exist throughout the world. 


I hope that people viewing our exhibition will find that it reveals not only innovation but the courage that it takes to represent humanity afresh.  Designs containing revolutionary new forms and material usage exploring the aforementioned themes live next to new interpretations of existing forms.  Our goal is to both curate and document the artistic vocabulary that the next generation of theatre and fashion designers are creating, and to generate a platform by which dialogue on the issues of the day may be explored.