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Angela Missoni’s curiosity and roving eye keeps Surface Conversion sharp and relevant. The project, which features collaborations between Missoni and various artists who develop site-specific works for the flagship at 1009 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, was created for sharing art with customers and the public.

Missoni asks artists to develop site-specific pieces, with the possibility of integrating artworks into every single corner of the store. She watches as the art transforms the scale of the boutique, hoping it will open a dialogue about the relationship between culture, fashion and art.

“Dreams of Being,” an installation by American textile artist Rachel Hayes, opened Wednesday as the latest installment of Surface Conversion, curated in collaboration with a Palazzo Gallery. The exhibition features Hayes’ large scale, hand-sewn patchwork tapestries that experiment with themes of color, shadow and light.

Hayes’ works are both powerful and fragile — bright, optimistic colors on delicate fabrics. Hayes is inspired by the traditions of quilt making, sculpture, painting and stained glass. She uses materials based on these crafts to design her abstract fabric compositions.

Missoni was just looking around “going from one thing to another. I was looking for patchwork and then I bumped into Rachel on social media. I was really amazed by her Instagram and her work.”

Thinking of holding the house’s September runway show outside in tents, Missoni said, “All of a sudden I thought, maybe I should call her up, maybe she’d like to collaborate with me. Rachel said, yes immediately and did these huge works. 

“I created the artwork that hung over the runway for the Missoni spring 2018 collection,” Hayes said. “There were six fabric panels ranging in size from 30′ x 30′ to 45′ x 60′, a combination of shimmer organza and ripstop.”

Missoni invited Hayes to participate in another project — the shoot for its spring 2018 ad campaign at White Sands National Monument with models Kendall Jenner and Filip Roseen. In the ads, Hayes’ colorful hand-sewn creations compliment Missoni’s fluid, polychromatic designs.

“I prefer less-known people to the very established people, because I have more fun,” Missoni said. “I prefer to walk through a flea market than on a main street in a city. I’m not going to explore in the shops, even if it’s my job. I get excited where I can go some place to be surprised.”

Previous installments of Surface Conversion have featured the work of Servane Mary, Jonas Mekas, Kreëmart and Romina de Novellis.

“Rachel is a very special woman with a positive attitude and a beautiful soul,” Missoni added. “We were meant to meet. She’s also very amazed by the fact that Instagram gave her this chance.”

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