Fashion and art collided head-on last night at the Eli Klein Fine Art gallery in Soho during the opening of Chinese artist Liu Bolin’s exhibition, “Lost in Art”, which included a high fashion collaboration (not of the H&M variety). For those of you who don’t subscribe to Harper’s Bazaar (disclosure: I do), the magazine collaborated with the contemporary artist to literally paint larger-than-life fashion designers Alber Elbaz, Angela Missoni, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino and Jean Paul Gaultier — who was on hand, working the crowd — into the background.
Liu is quite renowned in highbrow (and deep-pocketed — the large size of the pieces sell for $36,000 a pop) arty circles for his quiet but striking conceptual photos featuring himself painted into culturally and historically important locales in China. Harper’s Bazaar special projects director Laura Brown happened to have stumbled upon his work at a Stockholm gallery recently, whipped up this collaboration and skillfully made it work.
FLORENCE–”We’ve had a long love affair with Valentino,” Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine told me following Valentino’s menswear show in Florence this week (Valentino made his international debut in Florence in 1962). “Of course we already had a relationship in the past with Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti and we have done things with them in the past but that has totally changed…We started following the work of the new designers and waited for the moment when they were ready to launch a menswear line. Now we have seen their two menswear presentations and we decided the moment was right to launch the line.”
And what a launch it was.
PARIS–There was a lot to love about Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s spring collection for Valentino: 1) gorgeous red-carpet-worthy lace and sheer gowns, in the usual palette of Valentino-red, black and beige, livened up with floral embroidery done in Jil Sander spring 2011-esque fluorescents; 2) the signature ruffles were there but there was also a fresh new strapless tent silhouette that fell straight away from the body; 3) they made eveningwear look good with flats; 4) there was air conditioning (wha happened, Lanvin?).