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First Look - Michael Drummond: Being Played & Beautiful Game

Michael Drummond: Being Played (left) explores the effects of the fast fashion industry on climate change through chess-inspired creations and the talent of St. Louisan Michael Drummond. A Beautiful Game (right) highlights the influence of chess on pop culture through its sophistication, beauty and brilliance.

The World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) debuted two all-new exhibitions – Michael Drummond: Being Played and A Beautiful Game – showcasing the unique connections between chess, fashion and beauty on October 10, 2019, and running through spring 2020. These one-time exhibits include the debut solo fashion exhibition by Saint Louis-based garment designer and Project Runway alum Michael Drummond, as well as artifacts exploring the brilliancies and sophistication of chess in popular culture.

Michael Drummond: Being Played weaves a narrative about the effects of the fast fashion industry on climate change through the lens of chess-inspired creations by Saint Louisan Michael Drummond. The exhibit showcases new designs using a variety of naturally-occurring and man-made materials, including laser-cut synthetics, clothing spun from steel, handcrafted shoes and digitally-printed accessories. This exhibition is supported by the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

“Chess and fashion combined are a powerful and dramatic communication tool,” says fashion designer Michael Drummond. “Both fashion and chess have captivated artists and designers for centuries, transcending language and giving a voice to people from all walks of life affected by global issues. I’m excited to share my work with the public at the World Chess Hall of Fame and hope it challenges their perspectives.”

A Beautiful Game showcases unique artifacts from the World Chess Hall of Fame collection – chess-inspired beauty products, photographs, posters and advertisements – and illustrates how the sophistication and brilliance of the game have been celebrated and revered in chess and popular culture. The exhibition also highlights new, interactive artwork by chess champion and author Jennifer Shahade, co-created with filmmaker Daniel Meirom, as well as a piece from returning fashion designer Audra Noyes. This exhibition is also supported by the Missouri Arts Council. 

“We’re always thrilled to find new ways to collaborate with chess legends and previously-exhibited artists,” says WCHOF Chief Curator Shannon Bailey. “We’re honored to support these visionaries that interpret and infuse the grit and glamour of chess into remarkable works of art. I believe visitors to these exhibitions will be awed by the strong connections of chess, fashion and beauty in our world.”

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