It’s no secret that fashion and art are dear to my heart so I was thrilled when I heard the two were going to collide when Calvin Klein Collection announced this week it’s Creative Director Francisco Costa has teamed up with world renown artist Ellsworth Kelly for a one-of-a-kind, unique museum collabo in honor of Mr. Kelly’s milestone 90th birthday.
Photo courtesy of Billy Farrell BFANYC.com
This is one special dress…the artist originally designed the minimal, colour blocked number back in the Spring of 1952 while in the South of France and with some guidance, hand selected Costa to modernize and recreate his design to give it a more updated look. It was inspired by Mr. Kelly’s “Red Yellow Blue White” (1952) piece and consisted of 25 coloured fabric panels, which were divided into five columns of five panels each. I am loving the simplicity and lines that make up this classic shift, the bold contrasting colours and the use of cotton/stretch fabrics and zipper detailing on the shoulders. When Ellsworth decided he wanted to recreate the dress he designed nearly 60 years ago, he first spoke with Harold Koda, who is the Met’s/Costume Institute’s “Curator in Charge”, who had the brilliant idea of introducing him to Mr. Costa. Seriously, couldn’t have thought of a better pairing…their designs are both so classic and minimal. Hoda’s take on the collaboration:
“The intersection of art and fashion has been seen before, but a garment by an artist that originates at the same time as the development in his work of a radically new creative strategy is unprecedented. I cannot think of another example where fashion and art share their DNA so completely. Ellsworth Kelly with the collaboration of Francisco Costa has recreated his 1952 dress for the historical record but more importantly, as the earlier work had not been made to his specification, has realized with Costa’s technical virtuosity a re-visiting of the design that now confirms, authentically, to his original concept.”
The artist and designer’s sketch drawing and the recreated dress in Calvin Klein’s Madison Ave Flagship
Photo courtesy of James Lattazio
The dress will be recreated in a limited quantity- of course and will also be donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the latter owns the artwork which inspired the creation of the original dress. In order to commemorate the collaboration, the limited edition dress is currently being displayed prominently in the Calvin Klein Collection Global Flagship store at 654 Madison Ave in NYC. For you artsy heads, the dress will be in the company of several limited edition lithographs by Mr. Kelly in both the window and entrance until May 15th.
For all my NYC based readers who LOVE art, next month the Museum of Modern Art celebrates Mr. Kelly’s 90th with an exhibition of the first series of paintings he made after leaving NYC in 1970 titled, “Ellsworth Kelly: The Chatham Series”. On view from May 25-September 9th 2013.