Reflecting Fashion

There’s a large and comprehensive exhibition at Mumok in Vienna called Reflecting Fashion.  I didn’t mean to go, I was in the building for the Pop Art show, but I was very glad that I did.  The central theme of the exhibition was the intersections between art and fashion, and they had gathered all the key artefacts from modernism onwards and presented them beautifully.  There’s a lot of eye catching edgy stuff, including Valie Export‘s ‘genital panic’ action pants, outfits from Stephen Willat‘s Multiple Clothing Event (1993) and the elegant Elsa Schiaparelli & Dali Lobster Dress, worn by Wallis Simpson shortly before her marriage to Edward VIII.  I was most excited by the first floor, dedicated to Modernism. There was some beautiful textile designs by Sonia Delaunay and Austrian ceramicist Vally Wieselthier.  Giacomo Balla’s ‘modifiers’, designed in 1914 were pretty splendid.  These were variable decorative elements that you can attach to your clothing as you wish, they were colourful graphic shapes created from felt and embroidery.  I’ve had a similar idea myself because young mothers often acquire splotches of this or that on their shoulder just before leaving the house, and if you could pop a colourful modifier on top, it would be very useful.

Sonia Delaunay’s textile designs from 1920’s

Cindy Sherman was well represented too, and she had made a paper cut animation on super eight in 1975 called ‘Doll’s Clothes’.  If you find yourself in Vienna, Mumok is definately worth a visit.

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