Net-a-Porter’s True Originals
Anyone pondering the future of couture needs to check out what Net-a-Porter is cooking up for fall. On Wednesday, Net-a-Porter’s fashion director, Holli Rogers, invited a handful of editors to the Palais de Tokyo to catch a glimpse of how the e-tailer is moving the needle: Come September, the site will be selling one-off couture-inspired creations by contemporary artists George Condo, Terence Koh, Vik Muniz, Marina Abramovic, and Mickalene Thomas. Dubbed Art Capsul, the project was curated by Stacy Engman, an art-world veteran and fashion devotee, who approached the artists about creating garments inspired by the tradition of haute couture. “I wanted the artists to use their artwork to conceive a garment from beginning to end,” said Engman. “The process in fashion and in art is very similar in that both artists and designers are striving to create visual experiences that did not exist before. But this project is about contemporary art, and that is about the future. It’s just that this is art that can be worn.” No fashion designer is affiliated with this project.
As it turns out, Abramovic had been mulling the idea for a couple of decades: Her “jumpsuit of the century” is actually a set of seven jumpsuits in various colors, inspired by the planets. (Mars is blue; Mercury, red; Venus, white; etc.) She strategically incorporated magnets into the wares for their energetic properties. Koh dreamed up a coat covered in 20,000 pearls of different sizes, while Condo delivered a cheeky little topper with fur trim and pom-pom ties. “The whole point was to challenge people’s ideas about what we’re doing,” explained Rogers. “It’s art, it’s fashion, and you can wear it if it suits you.” Not to mention your wallet: These pieces are slated to be sold at “art-world prices.” And while the price tags for these one-of-a-kind wares aren’t yet confirmed, we have a feeling that Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall ’13 Lava dress, which is set to retail on Net-a-Porter this month for about $48,873, might just seem like a steal in comparison.