NEW YORK — An assortment of artistic touches will be center stage when Threeasfour returns to the runway Thursday night at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s theater. The last collection they showed in New York was spring 2017.
Adi Gil and Gabriel Asfour will be dedicating the show in memory of their friend Kate Spade. In 1997 working for Spade as creative director, Asfour helped to start the clothing component of her collection and their own brand’s upcoming one will be colorful as hers were. The designers collaborated with the artist Stanley Casselman, transforming his paintings into the fall collection, in order to highlight the collision of art, fashion and design. Supporters often refer to Threeasfour’s design as art, so Asfour said he and Gil decided “Why not do it as art? Instead of using fabric, we’re using paintings.” Victoria Bartlett will be styling the show, which is being choreographed by Maria Hassabi with performer Tyler Ashley serving as emcee. Sean Lennon, Maria Cornejo, Waris Ahluwalia and Arden Wohl are expected to be in the crowd of 280.
“Happy, friendly neighbors” with Threeasfour at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, N.J., Casselman often makes paintings that are 6 feet squares and painted on polyester screens that are traditionally used for silkscreen printing. All of his paintings are made from behind, which essentially makes him blind to what he is painting until he stands the screen up or gets underneath to look at it, he said. Should an element not measure up, he discards those sections. The artist has turned over scraps of discarded paintings for the designers to use at their discretion. “What we decided on was that we all have the ability to say, ‘We don’t like something.’ It can be the placement of a button, the choice of a particular painting in a particular area. Either one of us has veto say over any element,” he said, adding that he only spoke up once.
While some of the designs can be worn, the more sculptural designs are meant to be pieces of art with prices ranging from $6,000 to $20,000. The Phoenix Art Museum and the Museum at FIT have already shown some interest in the using the sculptural pieces for exhibitions, Casselman said. There will also be a direct-to-consumer collection sold via Threeasfour’s site. The latter will retail around $200 to $800 with both partners splitting sales 50-50, Casselman said. Should everything sell, about $500,000 to $700,000 in sales would be generated, Casselman estimated.
Bibhu Mohapatra will also be back on the NYFW scene with a 10-year anniversary show Feb. 11 at Spring Studios, after skipping last season. After filing Chapter 11 two years ago, the designer said his new partner, BC International, has provided a $100,000 investment. He also aims to build international sales with Christine Pancrate, whom he is already working with. She plans to open a multidesigner showroom in Paris, he added.