June 26, 2014–August 01, 2014
London-based fashion designer Duro Olowu will present a new group show and separate pop-up boutique of fashion and art at Salon 94 Bowery. A sequel to the designer’s 2012 installation at Salon 94 Freemans, the show will present selections of contemporary and vintage art and photography, textiles, furniture, ceramics and objets trouvés. Alongside this will be a boutique featuring limited edition fashion and accessory designs from Olowu's latest collection.
For More Material, Olowu has curated a wide array of items fashion, film and art referencing women that have long been a source of inspiration in his own work. Clothing created by Duro for the exhibition will focus on a series of intricate new capes that serve to both ornately decorate the wearer while simultaneously cloaking her femininity. A dramatic installation of antique Yoruba women’s costumes from the early to mid twentieth century provides insight to some of the designer’s source material. According to Olowu “I wanted to show female rebellion in an elegant and less confrontational way.”
A strong female focus is evident in all aspects of More Material, from Barkley Hendricks portraits to vintage color photographs by Madame Yevonde from the 1930s. Olowu’s mise-en-scène features photographic works by Jimmy DeSana, Cindy Sherman, Malick Sidibé, Laurie Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Juergen Teller and Carrie Mae Weems, as well as from vintage West African photography from the acclaimed Studio Lumiere in Porto Novo, Benin. Works by artists Rachel Feinstein and Stanley Whitney are represented alongside drawings and instamatics by Antonio Lopez, and illustrations by Antonio Pippolini, as well as a new video work from Hassan Hajjaj. The designer’s democratic eye also finds inspiration from ceramic masks and jewelry by Los Angeles based French artist Sylvie Auvray, large tufted tapestries from London based French artist Caroline Achaintre, sculptural eyeglass frames by Kenyan Cyrus Kabiru, feminine leather chairs by Les Lelanne, and found plastic bags transformed into opulent fetishized objects by New York-based Josh Blackwell. Influential works by Nick Cave, Theaster Gates, Glenn Ligon, Helen Marden, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye are also included.
The visual cornucopia provides surprising insights and inspiration for the way women and the female form have sparked creativity. Olowu adds “My ongoing discovery of both the new and the old is key to my personal joie de vivre. Creating an environment to share my discoveries and create new counterpoints and understandings for others has proven a fantastic way to share my passion with a larger audience.”
Since launching his label in 2004, Duro Olowu has been honored by the British Fashion Council in 2005 with the prestigious New Designer of the Year Award, and the Best International Designer Award at the African Fashion Awards and was also a finalist for the Swiss Textiles Award. Alluring silhouettes, sharp tailoring, original prints and vintage textiles in combinations are Duro’s signature, inspired by his Jamaican-Nigerian heritage and London upbringing, making him a favorite among fashion insiders.