“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.
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; and Romance Was Born with Nell and Jess Johnson. Shown alongside them are artworks by each of the artists that open up the visual relationships and suggest new ways of looking.
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.
Principal Exhibition Partner: Craigs Investment Partners