Simultaneity, 2011

Untitled by Sonia Delaunay, 1972

Two projects for dresses by Sonia Delaunay, 1924-1925

Delaunay in her own designs, 1923

The current Cooper Hewitt exhibit, Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay, could not have a come at a better time; the artist’s simultaneous dress has found itself strown far and across the Fall/Winter 2011 collections, showcasing her vivid use of color blocking, cubist rendering of the body, and focused application of craft. The Delaunay parallel speaks to a renewed interest in ornamentation, prodding designers toward a new language for decoration and embellishment. Delaunay had swam against the French fashion current developing her artistic dress, determined to practice a dress reform of her own. Purposely avoiding the convention and fashion cycle that dictated popular dress, Delaunay assembled her own vocabulary and visual codes within clothes. While designers have just rediscovered the benefits of reduction and restraint, the artistic dress and dress reform of the early 20th century and their expressions of progress in defiance of tradition seem all too appropriate as fashion now begins to reconstitute a sense of richness and craft.  

Fall/Winter 2011 collections by Prada, Proenza Schouler, Celine, Balenciaga, Chloe, Christopher Kane, Hermes, Rodarte, Dries Van Noten, Proenza Schouler, Jil Sander, and Louise Gray

While Delaunay is perhaps the most visible and recognized artist-turned-dress reformer, a look into the genre with a broader view reveals a much larger discussion and body of work…

 Projects for dresses by Italian Futurist Tullio Cralli, 1932-1933

Project for Suprematist clothing by Kazimir Malevich, 1923 

Gustave Klimt and Emilie Flöge wearing garments of Klimt’s design, 1905-1910

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2 responses to “Simultaneity, 2011

  1. Love, love, love this post, Jer! Gotta get my hands on that Klimt kimono…

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