Reuben Paterson for WORLD, Disturbances of Motion (2-piece suit), 2003. Reuben Paterson for WORLD
Hydrogen Bomb Explosion Zones (coat), 2003. WORLDman, Off the Handle Blazer and By Ear Trouser,
Spring Summer 2016/2017.
“Too late to speak of summer fashions and too soon to speak of winter ones (or even autumn ones).”
This phrase comes from an 1874 experimental initiative in fashion writing by the Symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé. Over two years, eight issues and adopting multiple personalities, he wrote and published La Dernière Mode, a broadsheet-style magazine dedicated to the many aspects of Parisian fashions. Humorous, philosophical, provocative and deeply knowledgeable, La Dernière Mode retains its place as one of the most radical and propositional fashion publications.
Doris de Pont with Tracey Williams, True Love strapless dress, 2004
It’s in this optimistic spirit that Children of Mallarmé: Fashion, Art & Collaboration, curated by Peter Shand and Karl Chitham, takes its cue and highlights collaborations between fashion designers and visual artists in New Zealand and Australia over the past three decades.
Like the many characters penned by Mallarmé for his fashion savvy audience, this exhibition brings together a collection of voices that demonstrate the rich history of fashion designers and artists working together and the unique and often surprising results.
The collaborations celebrated in this exhibition include:
Workshop with John Reynolds
Doris de Pont with John Pule, Richard Killeen and Tracey Williams
WORLD with Reuben Paterson
Jimmy D with Andrew McLeod
Romance Was Born with Nell and Jess Johnson
David, Reuben Paterson 2012
The collaborations shown here point to the many different opportunities that arise from the shared vision of creatives working in different arenas. Each individual tableau presents the results of their collective endeavour alongside independent work by some of the designers and all eight of the artists. Together, they indicate the breadth and inherent sense of possibility that is integral to any shared act of creative making.
This all points to an exciting, in-between space of fashion and art that re-invigorates the creative potentiality of both. Not too late, not too early; these collaborations hover somewhere in-between.