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Cynthia Rowley Knockoffs, On Sale Cheap—By Cynthia Rowley

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“The product of a runway show is really a photograph,” Cynthia Rowley remarked last night at the launch of her new capsule collection for gallerist Larry Gagosian’s Gagosian Shop. “Yes, it’s great to experience the show in person, but what you’re left with is an image, with a front and a back. And within hours, those images are public. I thought, why should people wait six months to buy this? I’ll make it available now.” So she took a page from Duchamp and Warhol and appropriated herself. Using photographs of the fronts and backs of her highly textured Fall 2010 designs, presented only hours earlier, Rowley created her own reproductions—literally printed, cut out, sewn together again, and ready to purchase. Even bags were re-created as printed totes. “I am really eager to see what else we can re-create as a print,” says Rowley. “Jewelry? Underwear? Shoes, even? Why not in the future?”

In the spirit of immediacy, Rowley’s Fall 2010 doppelgänger “installation” collection is already available in limited quantities at Gagosian Shop. A “copy” of a runway dress will run you about $320, less than Rowley’s usual price point. Rowley also encourages DIY types to buy the uncut fabric bolts, which cost $280, and simply cut out and sew together the designs yourself, making the entire designer-to-client exchange excitingly interactive. So long to the proverbial middleman (or woman, in this case). You can even pick up a Rowley tag to sew right in.

Gagosian Shop is at 980 Madison Ave., NYC, (212) 744-2313.

Photo: Nick Hunt/Patrick McMullan

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