Camp: Notes on Fashion at the Met Museum

The new exhibit by the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Camp: Notes on Fashion, is fraught on many levels, starting with a paradoxical nature of its theme. On the surface (no pun intended) Camp is not hard to spot because it’s so image-oriented. In reality the playfulness and irony inherent to Camp makes it elusive and intuitive. Like any sensibility or a matter of taste, Camp requires from its audience organic growth and (self)education. You can’t really stuff all of these things into a museum exhibit that is aimed at the general public – and the job of the Met is to cater to the general public. It’s especially hard to do because Camp is a fairly niche sensibility – there is something subcultural and underground in it. Camp takes pleasure in being stuck into people’s faces without them getting it. Really, it’s kind of the point.

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Manus X Machina at The Met

This week the new fashion exhibition “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It aims to challenge the notion, usually found in the popular imagination, that handwork and machine work somehow exist in the state of opposition.

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Iris van Herpen Exhibit in Atlanta

If you find yourself in Atlanta in the next six months, the Iris van Herpen retrospective, currently on view at the High Museum of Art is a must-see. It is the first fashion exhibit at the High Museum and I could not think of a better one to inaugurate what I hope becomes a tradition. Actually, I am sure it will, as the 2,3000-strong crowd that came for the exhibit’s opening left no doubt about where the public attention is channeled today.

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UNDERCOVER 25-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE IN TOKYO

If you find yourself in Tokyo in the next few months be sure to visit the 25-year retrospective of Undercover, called Labyrinth of Undercover, which opened last weekend. We were privileged to get a preview of the exhibit last Friday. The show is divided into several spaces. The first part lets the viewer immerse himself into the videos of Undercover shows. The videos are decidedly low-fi and unedited, so you can spend a lot of time in those rooms getting lost (in the best sense of the word) in the footage.

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Dries Van Noten at MoMu

Two weeks ago I got to see the Dries Van Noten: Inspirations exhibit at MoMu, Antwerp’s fashion museum. As the title suggests, the exhibit provides a glimpse into Van Noten’s world, and the influences that feed the wellspring of his creativity.

I have already seen the initial version of the exhibit at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. It was received with typical fanfare that the fashion press is all too ready to dispense. But while I liked it overall, I was so exhausted by the two floors of continuous explosion of color and ornament that I was happy to get some fresh Parisian air when I finally got out.

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Future Beauty

“Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion” is currently showing at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), in Brisbane, Australia. The exhibition comes from the archives of the prestigious Kyoto Costume Institute and explores the influence Japanese fashion designers have had over the last thirty years.

The comprehensive collection is comprised of more than one hundred pieces from the heavyweights like Rei Kawakubo of