Missoni's New York Flagship Goes Grunge

Missoni's New York Flagship Goes Grunge

The new in-store exhibit interweaves riot grrrl aesthetics with Italian luxury.

The new in-store exhibit interweaves riot grrrl aesthetics with Italian luxury.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

The New York-based artist Cheryl Donegan has long examined fashion and self-presentation in her work, so it's fitting that she would catch the eye of Angela Missoni, who tapped Donegan for “Surface Conversion,” a series site-specific art installations at the luxury house’s Madison Avenue flagship. But unlike the byzantine knits that hang in the store, Donegan’s layered, collage-like works are often made using repurposed textiles and lo-fi digital techniques.

A feminist fixture on the downtown New York art scene since the 90s, Donegan's work presaged designers like Eckhaus Latta and Lou Dallas, whose homespun, upcycled fashions blur the lines between art and craft, production and reproduction. For her solo show at the Aspen Art Museum, “GRLZ + VEILS,” Donegan staged a runway show of garments made from print-on-demand technology—a riff, says Donegan, on everything from Maison Margiela to the “readymade” school of art pioneered by Marcel Duchamp and Jasper Johns.

“I always think of the Jasper Johns [line], ‘Take something, do something to it, do something else to it.’ He might not have been talking about jeans… [but] with digital technology, we’re able to impact and influence consumer objects,” said Donegan on opening night last night.

Guests included artist and model Olympia Scarry and curator Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, who organized Donegan's showcase, entitled "Model! Pleasure! Artist! Alive!" With her choice in footwear—a pair of Christian Siriano wedge heels that had been altered with straw reeds—it was clear Donegan wears her artistic training on her sleeve, and perhaps never more so than around Halloween. “My son went as a “hypebeast’ last year,” she tells us. “We made a Supreme t-shirt, Gucci sweatpants, a Chance 3 cap and Yeezy sneakers all with duct tape.” Kanye eat your heart out.

"Model! Pleasure! Artist! Alive!" is up at Missoni's Madison Avenue flagship until January 31. Donegan's "GRLZ + VEILS,” on view at the Aspen Art Museum until December 20, moves to Contemporary Art Museum Houston on January 19. 

© 2018 Scott Rudd

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