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August 22 2014

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Eye-Popping Prints At Mother Of Pearl

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In London, Frieze is in full swing, and the art/fashion set is in heavy competition to see who can draw the bigger crowd. (This week, Christie’s and Sotheby’s faced off for the party award: Christie’s had Vanity Fair as a lure, but Sotheby’s had Jerry Hall, who took the occasion to debut her new boyfriend—point, Sotheby’s.) But the biggest ticket in town last night was an installation by Maia Norman—a.k.a. Damien Hirst’s missus, if not necessarily by law—at Mayfair’s Haunch of Venison Gallery for her Mother of Pearl line. The Kills’ Alison Mosshart, Josephine de la Baume, Polly Morgan, and, of course, Mr. H. himself dropped by the surreal exhibition to check out her Spring ’11 collection.

This time, Norman (with Hirst, left) worked with the Scottish artist Jim Lambie on a series of prints, including flowers in burnt orange and reds, a loony eyeball-and-gaffer-tape motif, and rock ‘n’ roll images of Grace Jones and John Lennon, all of which appear on fabrics like leather and organza. “I thought they were demented, confrontational,” Norman says of Lambie’s prints. “It was perfect for me, because it seemed like everything fashion-wise has settled down, with the camels and the neutral thing going on. I felt strongly that there was a gap for something wild. When I go shopping, I am always looking for that something really extraordinary and can never find it. It’s usually just this sea of black, and Lambie’s prints provided the perfect antidote.”

Judging from the retailers she’s picked up for the season, it’s clear she’s not alone. Colette will now be carrying the collection, alongside longtime supporter Liberty of London and new shops as far afield as Egypt, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. With all the focus on her own line, we wondered, does she have designs on any other booths at the fair? “Actually,” she said, “I am kind of hoping that all my friends will come and see me here at the installation.” Somehow, we don’t doubt it.

Photo: Alistair Guy / Courtesy of Mother of Pearl

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