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What is a piece of clothing that “works”? Who is working whom? Is the one who poses the one who actually “works” hardest?
The S/S 2017 collection of Berlin-based, Swedish- Vietnamese designer NHU DUONG entitled ‘WORK COLLECTION’ plays with the ideas of professionalism, leisure and appropriateness through a range of garments that are inspired by work outfits and hobby uniforms.
Overalls, raw denim outfits, kung-fu pyjamas, biker pants, baggy tights and gloves, bomber-jackets, bomber suits, bomber-jacket-turned-body blur the boundary between functional garment and formal attire. Loose and oversized silhouettes, blanket-like textiles and geometric shapes are contrasted with straps, ribbed details, corset constructions, asymmetric hemlines and sharp edges, giving structure to the improvised, while at the same time making the utilitarian seem strangely artificial. The collection marks a new collaboration between NHU DUONG and the Swedish and Berlin-based artist KARL HOLMQVIST, who is known for his text based works, poetry and readings. Running through the collection are texts and symbols such as EYESEYES, ASSASSASSS, #IAMACAMERA, a camera shutter, XOXOs, repeated endlessly in woven, printed and hand-written form – enforcing the idea of posing or ‘working it’ making one look, while at the same time reversing the gaze and let the garments stare back.
The collection was first shown earlier this summer in a catwalk presentation as part of 9TH BERLIN BIENNALE in in the Kreuzberg location of the biennale – a relict telecommmunications bunker. Now the collection will be on view at the Harlem location of GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE in a retail environment specifically created for the collection and featuring new wallworks by KARL HOLMQVIST. The show opened on the 12th of September 2016 with a series of performances and a Swedish crawfish dinner by RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA.
On view until the 17th of September 2016 at 435 W 127th St from 12-7pm.