PARIS — Art isn’t just for walls anymore, thanks to Net-a-porter’s new bespoke collection.
For the Art Capsul project, Stacy Engman, chief curator of contemporary art at The National Arts Club in New York, picked five artists — Marina Abramovic, George Condo, Terence Koh, Vik Muniz and Mickalene Thomas — and gave them carte blanche to create made-to-order garments available through the online retailer’s personal-shopping service.
“It is the first time this has ever been done,” Engman told WWD, speaking at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo museum, where the pieces were displayed on Wednesday, during couture week. Order-taking started then, too.
“I’ve asked artists to conceive of garments that reference their artwork [and] that is entirely by them,” she continued. “There is no pairing with a fashion designer.”
None of the artists had created clothes before. Each submitted a detailed sketch of what they wanted to create.
“To me, it was really important to have different genres represented, because it was such an experiment,” said Engman. “But I think they all show how versatile they are.”
Muniz is best known for his photography and Condo as a painter. Multimedia artist Thomas’ piece sprang from Fifties ballgowns.
“I also wanted to incorporate some more contemporary elements into the dress and use some of my influences and inspirations from designers that I actually either wear or like, such as Comme des Garçons or Yohji Yamamoto — in that sense of layering and deconstruction,” Thomas explained, adding she used layers similar to how she creates her collages and paintings. “You can see all of the ways in which the painting was made. You can see the drawing aspect, you can see the pencil line revealed in some of it, and then the watercolor paint, the oil paint to the enamel to the rhinestones.”
Similarly, it was important for Thomas to expose the material in the dress, including crinoline and two types of duchesse satin. “One was hand-painted on, then flipped to the reverse, so you don’t necessarily see the brush strokes, but they’re revealed through the material,” she said.
The project has whetted Thomas’ appetite for more in fashion. “I definitely have some other ideas for shoe design and working in shoes or something like that,” she said. “It’s definitely something that I want to explore more.”
Condo’s piece includes staples made of 24-karat gold pulling together his parka-baby-doll dress.
“His reference for the staples is what’s used to stretch canvases,” Engman said, also noting that the head shape in gold foil at the back of the dress makes it looks like someone had been sitting on one of Condo’s paintings.
Abramovic fashioned “Energy Clothes,” involving seven jumpsuits in different colors for every day of the week. It’s a concept Abramovic has worked on for two decades. Each day is linked with a celestial body. Monday is dark blue (like the moon), while Tuesday is red (like Mars), for instance. And every outfit has seven small magnets held in pockets strategically placed to denote certain energy points on the body “to boost energy,” Engman noted.
Muniz made the multicolored “Peau d’Âne Gown,” including high-resolution digital print on duchesse satin, while Koh created a “Pearl Bomber Jacket,” which incorporates almost 20,000 hand-sewn faux pearls.
Engman sees all the works as performance pieces.
“Like Marina said, ‘Whomever wears these garments becomes an extension of my art performance practice, in a way,’” said Engman.
The clothes are priced in-line with the artists’ market rate in the art world, according to Holli Rogers, fashion director at Net-a-porter. She believes the time is ripe for such a project, due to the resurgent interest in couture and the burgeoning crossover between art and fashion.
“This project represents the future,” said Engman. “These are really fine art works created by visual artists, but that are pieces completely wearable.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty