The great thing about Melbourne is that when there is a big event such as LMFF there are also many side events, it is impossible to keep track - or keep bored. Tonight I crossed over from the cool kids in Collingwood to Richmond to attend the opening of Fashion Loves Art Loves Fashion which is part of the cultural program for LMFF and is being held at Sophie Gannon Gallery. To be honest I had no idea what to expect - the invite was minimal - but seeing the names Romance was Born, Josh Goot, Julia Deville and Something Else were enough to get me into some fresh lipstick.
In contrast to the Friday party for Penthouse Mouse this opening felt like the grown up's party; there's always something about a gallery space that makes you stand up straight. Was there music? I can't say I noticed any. As I had no idea what to expect I was really excited to realise that this show was about the collaboration between fashion designers and artists which strikes a chord with me. I've been fascinated by artists working for fashion since Miu Miu hired Liselotte Watkins to produce a range of prints for their 2008 Spring Collection. Quite often we see amazing print work and designs under a brand name and have no idea about the people who are behind them; rarely are artists given credit for their contribution which I always find disappointing, especially when a print often becomes the main focal point of a collection. Seeing the work of artists alongside the final fashion pieces at Fashion Loves Art Loves Fashion was most definitely a positive celebration of the process behind fashion.
While this was a fashion event I found the inclusion of contemporary clothing such as a Something Else jumpsuit juxtaposed against a large scale painting and situated in a gallery quite thoughtful. Putting the clothing in a different context definitely made me view it in a new light and encouraged me to consider the design process. My favorites from the show were the pieces from Romance Was Born and their collaboration with Del Kathryn Barton - Romance Was Born most definitely deserves to be hung in a gallery with their ability to be so bold and change our views on fashion, and their eccentric beaded pieces looked right at home hanging on a wall. I found the tapestry by Lucas Grogan for Rittenhouse ironically entertaining and would very much like to take Julia Deville's little Bambi home with me as he was much too breathtaking to remain locked in a gallery.
If you are in Richmond pop along and check it out, the show runs until March 17th Sophie Gannon Gallery - 2 Albert St, Richmond.
Lucas Grogan for Rittenhouse
Kathryn Del Barton for Romance was Born
Nan Goldin for Scanlan and Theodore