15 posts tagged "Andrew Bolton"
The Met’s Costume Institute has moved on from Prada to punk for its annual spring exhibition. This morning, Punk: Chaos to Couture was announced as 2013′s exhibition, opening to the public May 9 and focusing on the origins of punk and its impact on high fashion today. Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton tells WWD, “Punk broke all rules when it came to fashion, and everything became possible after punk. Its impact on high fashion became so enormous, and continues at the same time.” The exhibition will feature roughly 100 men’s and women’s designs, from a large group of participating designers including Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, and Azzedine Alaïa, juxtaposed with original mid-seventies punk pieces in gallery sections like “Rebel Heroes” and “Pavilions of Anarchy and Elegance.” As for the annual accompanying benefit, the date has been set for May 6 with Rooney Mara, Lauren Santo Domingo, and Riccardo Tisci all serving as co-chairs with Anna Wintour. Photographer Nick Knight, who is serving as the exhibition’s creative consultant, will head up the gala’s look with Raul Avila.
The Costume Institute’s Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations show opens to the public on Thursday, following tonight’s red-carpet gala. The press preview this morning provided an early look at an exhibition that juxtaposes the fashions of two of our industry’s most provocative practitioners with videos of imagined conversations between them. Miuccia Prada plays herself and the late Elsa Schiaparelli is brought to life by the actress Judy Davis using real quotes from the designer’s autobiography, Shocking Life. The clips, which were directed by Baz Luhrmann, riff on not only Vanity Fair‘s 1930′s column “Impossible Interviews” but also Louis Malle’s 1981 film, My Dinner With Andre.
The designers are both female, Italian, and feminist, but they disagree more often that not. Schiaparelli: “Dress designing is to me not a profession, but an art.” Prada: “Fashion designers make clothes and they have to sell them. We have less creative freedom than artists. Maybe nothing is art. Who cares?”
Still, the curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton often make compelling connections between the designers’ work. The overlaps, for example, between Prada’s Fall 2012 Ugly Chic printed pantsuits (which, of course, reference her own 1990′s take on the 1970′s) and Schiaparelli’s circa-1930′s version are uncanny despite the nearly 80 years that separate them. The exhibition is divided into themes. In “The Surreal Body,” the show’s final section, dresses from each designer are encased in Lucite and juxtaposed with photos of the other’s work. “Schiaparelli is pulled out of the past, made more relevant, and Prada’s contemporary aesthetic is given a rich resonance,” Koda said during the preview, citing production designer Nathan Crowley’s “crisp, timeless” sets. He was nonetheless quick to point out that Prada resists the comparisons. “She was struck by the similarities between two pleated dresses, her own trompe l’oeil and Schiap’s 3-D. But she told me the eras that she looks at, that’s she’s interested in, are the fifties, sixties, and seventies. ‘I really don’t look at Schiaparelli,’ she said.”
Conflict, Malle could’ve told us, makes for good conversation.
Today in Milan, the fashion set got a glimpse of some of the Schiaparelli and Prada pieces that will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibition, opening May 10. How does one make an impossible conversation between two great designers from different eras possible? Curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton dug through Prada’s archive, as well as the Costume Institute’s collection and private collections, and culled 90 designs and 30 accessories by the two Italian female designers to demonstrate the arresting affinities between their work (Elsa Schiaparelli from the late twenties to early fifties, Miuccia Prada from the late eighties to the present). Take note, these are the first female designers to be the centerpiece of the annual exhibition since Coco Chanel in 2005.
The “conversation” plays out in seven themes, starting with “Waist/Waist Down” (which includes a 1937 black and white Schiaparelli number worn by Madonna’s latest film subject, Wallis Simpson, sitting next to a very similar recent look from Prada). It continues with “Ugly Chic,” “Naif Chic,” “The Classical Body,” “The Exotic Body,” and finally, “The Surreal Body.” The galleries featuring iconic ensembles by the designers are paired with videos, directed by Baz Luhrmann, with made-up conversations between the two women (the idea for these “impossible conversations” was inspired by a Vanity Fair series of unimaginable exchanges in the thirties). Here, a few images from the exhibition.
Making his way through the Costume Institute’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty press preview this morning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, milliner Philip Treacy, whose creations are prominently featured in the show, referred to the tears in his eyes and those of his friends, and asked, “Is it because we knew him, or because of the exhibit?”
No doubt it was a bit of both. Informed by the quote from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream tattooed on McQueen’s arm, “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,” curator Andrew Bolton has organized the exhibition interpretatively, rather than chronologically, into six parts: The Romantic Mind (top), Romantic Gothic, Romantic Nationalism (below), Romantic Exoticism, Romantic Primitivism, and Romantic Naturalism. “It’s meant to evoke a gothic fairy tale,” he explained. If the masks that Guido Palau created for the show’s mannequins render the effect more gothic than fairy-tale at times, there are genuine moments of uplift, not least of which is the miniature version of the Kate Moss hologram from the finale of the designer’s Widows of Culloden show. That collection, from Fall 2006, is one of several that get the special treatment; among the others: McQueen’s 1995 Highland Rape show (above), Spring 2005‘s It’s Only a Game, and his penultimate Plato’s Atlantis.
Superlatives were the order of the day at the Met, not only in the show itself, but also during the brief remarks program. In an audio recording describing a dress of the designer’s she wore to the 2006 Met gala, Sarah Jessica Parker said being fitted by McQueen was “one of the great, memorable experiences of a lifetime.” And congratulating all involved in the show, the Met’s director, Thomas Campbell, called it “perhaps the most spectacular costume exhibition ever mounted anywhere.” Stella McCartney, a colleague of McQueen’s at PPR Luxury Group and one of the co-chairs of tonight’s Costume Institute Ball, was likewise full of praise, but preferred to discuss some of the private moments she shared with McQueen. “I remember the time at a party when he asked me to introduce him to Domenico De Sole, saying, ‘Come on, Stell, let’s start my empire,’ ” she recalled, describing him as “always cheeky, and filthy in the best sense of the word.” Sarah Burton, who has received plenty of attention of her own since Catherine Middleton walked down the aisle in a dress of her creation last Friday, kept her comments brief: “I’m very proud and honored to have worked for him. He truly was a genius.”
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty opens to the public on Wednesday, May 4.