A new exhibit at The Bass invites you to experience the work of top designers in a bold, fresh way.
DESTE Foundation’s fashion exhibition at The Bass isn’t your typical fashion exhibition. “It’s a puzzle. Or a journey,” says Silvia Karman Cubiñá, the museum’s executive director and chief curator. There are Comme des Garçons bunny ears and Balenciaga robotic stilettos, Juergen Teller’s quirky photographs and a stoic portrait from Maria Papadimitrious’ anthropological study, Gypsy Globales. Confused? That’s precisely the point.
Each year from 2007 to 2014, DESTE, a contemporary art institution with a museum in Athens, Greece, commissioned an artist to curate a capsule featuring five fashion items. Each capsule “presents a conversation between creativity and fashion that highlights themes according to the artist’s interest, be it celebrity or folk fashion,” explains Leilani Lynch, assistant curator at The Bass.
Walking through the mezzanine, where the DESTEFASHIONCOLLECTION: 1 to 8 is on display for the first time in the United States, is to go back in time, to see a world in the middle of an economic free fall though the lens of fashion. “Some capsules engage with the tumultuous moment more than others,“ says Lynch. “Helmut Lang’s capsule features a ‘shame bag,’ alluding to a practice wherein shoppers would disguise their Hermès purchase in an anonymous shopping bag.” It’s a puzzle you’ll want to solve, a journey you won’t want to miss.
Maison Michel headband and Lotho Yuwano sunglasses and Slow and Steady Wins the Race pearl necklace earring photos courtesy of DESTE Foundation; “The Look (Plate XV)” PHOTO COURTESY OF DILLER SCOFIDIO + RENFRO