I’m going to take us back a few months to spotlight an awesome intermingling of art and fashion by Stella McCartney, a pioneer in uniting the two fields both visually in her designs and experientially in her fashion presentations.
For her pre-fall presentation, McCartney teamed up with Grey Area, who commissioned three artists to enrich the atmosphere through live painting. Artists Miguel Fábrega, John Gordon Gauld and Catherine Delphia each worked behind an easel to capture McCartney’s garments on their canvas. Come September, when the clothes hit stores, the designer showed the resultant artworks from the presentation in her flagship store in SoHo alongside the collection that inspired them, with a portion of proceeds benefiting The Drawing Center.
Grey Area, always a leader in the art-as-fashion-as-art category (as exemplified in this post, and this one), is back with a collaboration with global fashion brand Helmut Lang. The project has two components: a Grey Area for Helmut Lang capsule collection of goods soon to be sold on the Grey Area website, accompanied by sculptural installations by New York based artist Shelter Serra for Lang’s flagship stores.
The collection of “goods” will surely warrant a later post, but for now I will focus on the sculptures. Serra (as in Richard Serra, Shelter’s unle) created 17 custom sculptures for Helmut Lang retail locations by casting vintage car engines that have come to define the American car culture of the late 1960’s and 70s. The sculptures are aptly titled “Engine Blocks.” For those who are familiar with Shelter’s practice, these sculptural pieces are aligned in his exploration of casting everyday objects in unique materials to replicate archetypes of our culture (You might recollect his Homeade Birkin Bag). You can view the installation November 2nd – January 7th, or be first in line at the launch during Artlog’s SoHo Art Crawl at the Mercer Street HL store.
Last week, I wrote about Cynthia Rowley’s Gagosian collection. But the designer didn’t stop there when looking to the art world for inspiration for her designs. Rowley has also created a dress entitled “Damien Hirst Dot Dress,” which she designed for Paris boutique Colette after seeing Olaf Breuning’s exhibition, “The Art Freaks.” The exhibit featured a series of 22 large-scale color photographs depicting nude male and female bodies, which Breuning had painted in the style of various 20th century artists’ defining works. One of those artists was Damien Hirst, and Breuning painted that particular woman with Hirst’s famous “spots” print. Rowley took Olaf’s interpretation one step further, designing a silk jersey t-shirt dress, screen-printed with the faint image of the nude figure, overlaid with Hirst’s colorful spots, as portrayed by Breuning. The dress is now available on Grey Area’s website.
Cynthia Rowley has created a four-piece capsule collection entitled the “Gagosian Collection,” which includes three dresses and a handbag. These limited edition items were designed from a series of photographic reproductions of fifteen looks in her Fall 2010 collection. Approaching the design process much like an artist approaches his or her work, Rowley based the collection concept on the notion that the product of a runway show is really a photograph. “Rowley’s concept borrows from post-modern appropriation strategies and the tradition of galleries selling editions of photographs or lithographs of great artists’ work,” states the description on Grey Area‘s website, which is currently selling the line.
Rowley herself is an avid art collector and supporter of the arts. She has collaborated previously with artists including Will Cotton, Olaf Breuning, and Ryan McNamara on various ventures and collections. Another POI (point of interest): she co-founded the online art start-up Exhibition A, a members only website that sells exclusive editions by contemporary artists.