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Material Translations

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20121103045902-09_11212
Comme de Garçons, 2005 Leather Baseball Mitt Jacket and Coordinate Net, Polyester, Leather Skirt © Courtesy of the artist and The Art Institute of Chicago
Material Translations

111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
November 3rd, 2012 - April 7th, 2013
Opening: November 3rd, 2012 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://www.artic.edu
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
Michigan Ave/Downtown
EMAIL:  
ckrause@artic.edu
PHONE:  
312-443-3600
OPEN HOURS:  
Mon-We, Fri-Sun 10:30-5; Thu 10:30-8;
TAGS:  
designs, installation

DESCRIPTION

In the 1980s, Japanese designers carried out a momentous redefinition of dress with exciting runway presentations that expressed new philosophical and artistic points of view. In a nod to these groundbreaking explorations and to celebrate the 25th year of the School of the Art Institute’s Fashion Resource Center (FRC), the FRC and the Department of Asian Art at the Art Institute showcase garments that took the fashion world by storm and brought Japanese designers to the fore.

Presented in the museum’s dramatic Ando Gallery, this exhibition provides examples of the most innovative designs from the 1980s through the 2000s. One is a radical concept by Rei Kawakubo, her 1983 sack dress that characterizes the aesthetic of poverty—concealing, not revealing the female form in muted color. In another garment, Kawakubo befittingly and humorously embodies the meaning of her design label Comme des Garçons (literally translated as "like some boys') with her adaptation of a ballet dancer's nylon and polyester skirt laced with heavy cowhide. The companion jacket, whose pattern was developed from the fabrication of a baseball mitt, likewise contrasts feminine and masculine. Also included are recently acquired designs inspired by anarchic currents of youthful expression by Jun Takahashi of Undercover. A site-specific video projection by artist Jan Tichy, Installation no. 16, complements the bold fashions on display.

This exhibition marks the first collaboration between the FRC and the museum, as well as the first time that fashions from this collection are on public view.