I’ve been exploring new ways to isolate and play with cinematic fragments for my own studio work, so these images from a new MOCA exhibit — featuring the designs of Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte — immediately caught my eye. The exhibit runs until June 5 at the MOCA Pacific Design Center and showcases the original ballet costumes Rodarte designed for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.
“The selected works are largely achromatic, dominated by black-and-white motifs with occasional red accents, and will be installed in a series of interrelated vignettes, both static and in motion, displayed off-figure and portrayed as charged sculptural objects. The installation will present inanimate objects in a state of flux, or animation, signifying the temporary states that material can assume. Acclaimed environmental fashion designer and runway producer Alexandre de Betak, founder of Bureau Betak and a longtime collaborator of the Mulleavys, will contribute a dynamic exhibition design, including kinetic displays, dramatic lighting, and other theatrical elements.”
Associate Curator, Rebecca Morse: “By removing the garments from the figure and creating an installation around them, the focus will be entirely on the dresses and tutus as singular sculptural objects rather than pieces that are reliant on their relationship to the human form. Their inherent narrative qualities will be revealed.”
The design house is known for their expressionist, deconstructive, sculptural style — which basically means they aren’t afraid to tear, burn, stain, and reassemble precious/expensive materials with mundane or uncanny “textiles.”
“Materials are woven, knitted, or layered together as assemblages of plaid scraps, vinyl, cheesecloth, wool, cobweb, Swarovski crystals, macramé, leather, and more. Rodarte’s designs are inspired by sources uncommonly approached in fashion design — its Spring 2010 collection was based, in part, on the California condor. Other idiosyncratic influences include local landscapes, Japanese horror films, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein, and the work of Gordon Matta Clark.”
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