Purple Fashion

[August 4 2018]

Discover Eckhaus Latta’s first solo exhibition “Eckhaus Latta: Possessed” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed highlights the work of Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta as part of a new generation of designers operating at the intersection of fashion and contemporary art. Known for their approach that both plays with and against industry conventions, Eckhaus Latta uses a wide range of materials in their designs, from pre-owned T-shirts to velvet burnout; produces clothes that reflect the fluidity of identity and adapt to each distinct wearer; and incorporates performance and video into their practice through collaborations with artists, musicians, and others.

In Possessed, Eckhaus Latta examines desire, consumption, and collaborative modes of creation through a linear progression of experiences. At the gallery entrance, lightboxes host a sequence of photographs that allude to iconic fashion advertisements. Photographed by Charlotte Wales with art direction by Eric Wrenn, styling by Avena Venus Gallagher, hair by Shingo, and makeup by Kanako Takase, the images feature models Gemma Ward for IMG, Michael Bailey Gates, May Hong, Brigitt Doss, and Tawan.

At the core of Possessed is an operational retail environment that welcomes visitors to touch, try on, and purchase clothing and accessories made expressly for the exhibition. The collection features many of Eckhaus Latta’s signature elements, including experimental knitwear, surprising materials, and an innovative approach to shape, silhouette and layering. Unlike traditional museum displays of fashion on mannequins set at a distance from the viewer, the installation fosters intimate interaction with the garments. Further, the functional components of the space—everything from the clothing racks to the display shelves to the dressing room—have been created by more than a dozen artists whom Eckhaus Latta counts as friends, mentors and family members.
The third zone of the exhibition resembles a security office, often an unseen part of the shopping experience, and displays a mixture of surveillance footage from Eckhaus Latta’s own Los Angeles store, retailers that carry the label’s clothing and a livestream from the exhibition. By providing an opportunity to observe and consume, Eckhaus Latta reveals what feeds our desire to possess.

“Eckhaus Latta: Possessed” is on view through October 8th, 2018 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Photo Thomas McCarty

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