The Art of Fashion

Viktor & Rolf, Dress from The Fashion Show, Fall/Winter 2007/8, Centraal Museum, on loan from H+F Collection. Photo: Peter Stigter, model: Maryna Linchuk
Viktor & Rolf, Dress from The Fashion Show, Fall/Winter 2007/8, Centraal Museum, on loan from H+F Collection. Photo: Peter Stigter, model: Maryna Linchuk

The Art of Fashion: Installing Allusions
19 September 2009 - 10 January 2010

This autumn Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will be exploring the boundaries of fashion. Today’s fashion designers are entering the area of fine art and in their turn influence the art world. The Art of Fashion reveals the sparks that fly at the interface between fashion and art. New and existing works by twenty-five international designers and artists provide a confrontational visual experience.

Fashion shows and advertising campaigns have had their day. Fashion designers present their work with installations, performances and sculptural designs. Like art, today’s fashion is collected by museums and private individuals. Conversely in recent years artists have been exploring the visual world of fashion. The fixed boundaries between fashion and art have become blurred. For the first time The Art of Fashion combines the two disciplines in a confrontational visual spectacle.

Exclusive new works by five top international designers are at the heart of the exhibition. The H+F Fashion on the Edge Foundation invited Viktor&Rolf, Naomi Filmer, Hussein Chalayan, Anna-Nicole Ziesche and Walter Van Beirendonck to make brand new works for the exhibition. The designers abandoned the principle of a wearable collection and went in search of the boundaries of fashion.

The Art of Fashion features around fifty varied works by fashion designers and artists from all over the world. Starting from the principles of fashion, visitors will automatically find themselves in different areas. Patterns and shapes and clothes become sculptures, a fashion show is transformed into a performance and the imaginary world that fashion evokes is the same as we see in art. The fantasy world of Walter Van Beirendonck lies close to the Sound Suits by Nick Cave; the sculptural jewellery by Naomi Filmer and the objects by Christophe Coppens have the same tactile unsettling shapes as the sculptures by Louise Bourgeois, which in turn have strong thematic similarities to Martin Margiela’s work.

The exhibition is accompanied by The Art of Fashion catalogue, which examines the work and the backgrounds of the artists and designers taking part. There is also a book, Mode en Verbeelding, (d’jonge Hond Publishers), which throws light on the background to the relationship between art and fashion.

Press preview
You are cordially invited to a press preview on Friday 18 September. The exhibition will still be under construction but we will give you a special glimpse behind the scenes. At 10.00 a.m. curator José Teunissen will give an introduction, after which you will be able to visit the exhibition. Registration is required as the number of places is limited.

The museum is organising an international symposium in collaboration with Premsela – Dutch Platform for Design and Fashion, D’Acapo and the ArtEZ Modelectoraat on 18 September 2009. Various workshops, lectures and a family day are also being staged in the museum during the exhibition.

The Art of Fashion has been compiled by guest curators José Teunissen (lecturer at ArtEZ Arnhem) and Judith Clark (exhibition maker, London).
The exhibition was made possible by the H+F Fashion on the Edge programme of author and art collector Han Nefkens, and by the Mondriaan Foundation, SNS Reaal Fonds and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.
The Dutch edition of ELLE celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year and is our media partner. The exhibition is a major part of the official programme of Holland Art Cities 2009-2010.