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Mode, de musical – Piet Paris kiest uit de collectie (Fashion, the musical – Piet Paris chooses from the collection)

Start Date 07 June 2014
End Date 30 November 2014
Venue Centraal Museum
Location Utrecht, The Netherlands
Curator Piet Paris
Designer Ernst Moritz
exhibition set design with objects incorporated

Fashion illustrator Piet Paris is guest curator at the Centraal Museum. Piet Paris selects more than 150 objects from the collection of the Centraal Museum and presents them in a surprising form: as scenes from a musical.

Via the backstage, the red carpet and – ultimately – the stage, he leads the visitor past more than fifty looks by, among others, Comme des Garçons, Maison Martin Margiela, Iris van Herpen, Viktor & Rolf, but also 17th and 18th century costumes. Paris does not want to show fashion in isolation, but in context. He combines fashion with objects and puts them to use: clocks are ticking, vases are filled with flowers and lamps are burning. He breaks through the anonymity of the mannequin by dressing them from head to toe and providing them with a face that he himself illustrates. Piet Paris literally gives a lively presentation of the collection of the Centraal Museum.

In the musical, two protagonists, sisters Chantal and Simone, have two opposing ‘tastes’. Simone stands for modern, geometric, minimalist and Chantal stands for decorative, baroque and colorful. By showing the opposites in two parallel lines, the visitor can compare and thus determine his own taste.

The exhibition is characteristic of Piet Paris: playful and graceful, with a great eye for detail. Accessible and tinged with humour, but with a serious undertone: by combining entertainment with art, he plays with the penchant for mass culture and superficiality.

Piet Paris (The Hague, 1962) is perhaps best known as a fashion illustrator for, for example, Vogue and Elle. As creative director, he was also responsible for the first three editions of the Arnhem Fashion Biennale.

Image credit Centraal Museum.