Across all aspects of popular culture, fashion is interwoven. We often bring up the connections that fashion has with music, with film, but most of all with art. What I enjoyed about Eckhaus Latta’s presentation seeing how they collaborated with artists in other mediums, and seeing how concepts could converge and snowball into larger projects.
This got me to reflecting on the lectures we heard over the course of the semester, and how often branching out beyond the constraints of retail played a role in expanding a designer’s process to the bigger picture. Faustine had the water bottles at her first show. Mary Ping displayed her work via art installations and photographs. Anja Aronowsky Cronberg turned her magazine in to an experience with the MoMA storytelling salons. Timo Rissanen turned his academic work in to an art installation. If “transgression” was the theme of this semester, a sub-theme should have been “modes of expression”.
On that note, Eckhaus Latta was a great way to end the semester. The duo have been involved in several interesting project that incorporated fashion, and seemed open and willing to collaborate with others more than anyone else we have seen yet. I was particularly interested in their ideas on how clothing could be presented. Their conceptual fashion shows involved breaking with the norms of showing a collection, yet they were able to navigate standard business modes (like being sure to get good images). Even with their “live stream” show, which was really just a pre-tapped video, Eckhaus Latta made their viewers reconsider why immediacy was so important to them.
A part of me wonders if they can push this farther – can they create a network of creative individuals to collaborate with? Would they be willing to turn the tables and interpret the work of a photographer or filmmaker in to a clothing collection? Would they be willing to transgress the boundaries of retail constraints to create a multi-platform, multi-collaborator project? That might be asking too much. They are still running a business, and in order to turn a profit, they still need to deliver to the stores stocking their line. But if any designers would be able to transgress the fashion system, I’d bet it will be these two.