This week I have stumbled upon an article announcing a very interesting exhibition which will be hosted by The Museum of Modern Art in New York, entitled Items: Is Fashion Modern? . In this article, its writers reference an older exhibition, bearing a similar name (Are Clothes Modern?) held in the same museum, curated by the architect and designer Bernard Rudofsky. In the exhibition’s press release, while trying to explain the importance of such an exhibition for the understanding of modernity, he states: “It is strange that dress has been generally denied the status of art, when it is actually a most happy summation of aesthetic, philosophic and psychological components. While painting, sculpture and dance have very definite limitations, dress at its best not only comprises notable elements of these arts, but its sovereign expressiveness through form, color, rhythm – it has to be worn to be alive – its intimate relation to the very source and standard of all esthetic evaluations, the human body, should make it the supreme achievement among the arts.”
The Romanian brand irina schrotter, since its rebranding, five years ago, when Lucian Broscățean became the designer of the brand, had as main focus the exploration of femininity through a constant questioning of what modern means for fashion. In the spring/summer 2017 collection, presented last week at MQ Vienna Fashion Week, the irina schrotter team, composed of Lucian Broscățean (who is now the Creative Director of the brand), Carmen Cherecheș and Diana Flore who are the designers, offered us a well-constructed exploration of femininity. The dress, which represented the central focus of this exploration, was deconstructed in such a subtle manner that it made me reevaluate its importance. Often times the dress is seen as a piece of clothing, embodying the fragility and the preciousness of a woman, but a dress can be much more than that. Its versatility and its aesthetical power were impeccably rendered in irina schrotter’s collection. Meticulously designed details were subtly placed on new types of silhouette, flattering volumes, and asymmetric shapes. The color pallet dominated by white, powder pink, ivory, and pearlescent shades was a very tricky choice made by the designers, because they tend to overwhelm the viewer, and can easily seem repetitive and flat. The fact that it did quite the opposite is an achievement in design and craftsmanship. I very much liked the laser-cut accessories made out of plexiglas, veneer and transparent foil, a very fresh attempt to introduce the logo of the brand in the styling of the collection.
The reason why I referenced Bernard Rudofsky’s quote at the beginning was not at all random. Although I don’t fully agree with his point of view on the matter, I find his approach interesting, and although his exhibition dates back to the 1940’s, his discourse is still very relevant today. His attempt to reexamine the importance of clothing in the artistic discourse seems to me similar to irina schrotter’s attempt to rethink the importance of the dress in the discourse about femininity/feminism in the 21st century. As clothing still struggles to obtain its autonomy in the art world, the dress still struggles to become more than an accessory of a romanticized view on femininity, when in fact it is much more than that.
Creative Director – Lucian Broscățean
Designers: Diana Flore & Carmen Cherecheș
Technical Department Coordinator – Aurora Gongescu
Fashion Show Stylist – Ovidiu Buta
Make-up Artist – Alexandru Abagiu
Accesories – Diana Flore în colaborare cu Woven Atelier
Shoes – Ego
Music – Blanilla
Photos – Raluca Ciornea