DESIGNERS TURNED ARTISTS AT ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH
By Nadia Sesay
During Miami art week, the worlds of art and fashion converged. Designers created performance pieces, exhibited in art fairs, and even co-hosted fashion shows with museums. Is Miami Basel the new Miami Fashion Week? Here, look back at the best fashion and art crossovers from Miami art week 2016.
PUBLIC SCHOOL x WNL RADIO
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, the designers behind New York City based label Public School, "didn't want to come up with a pseudo-fashion-art-thing" for their presentation at The Confidante hotel in Miami.
"Our thought was to create a platform for interactivity and immersion, while rounding up a mix of our peers from all different verticals," Chow explained at the press conference. The duo created a performance art piece veiled as a radio station dubbed WNL, 'We Need Leaders'.
Guests like Yes Julz, Derek Adams, Heron Preston, and Sal Masekela chatted about art, music, pop culture, and politics while DJs spun at intervals. WNL Radio was broadcast poolside, of course (even avant-garde art performances concede to Miami rituals).
Future fashion-meets-art voyagers, beware: "This is the new colossus," read the opening line of WNL's manifesto. By raising the standard of creative collaboration, it was.
HOOD BY AIR x MoMA PS1 POOL PARTY
Shayne Oliver, founder of HBA, bucks the ordinary. In Miami he revealed his new collaboration with South African photographer Pieter Hugo - a collection featuring the photographer's images of LGBT Jamaicans - at a pool party co-hosted with the New York art institution, MoMA PS 1. The 'catwalk' didn't run along the perimeter of the pool or even hover above it; that's blase. Instead Oliver and models, mostly novices that he recruited from Instagram, were submerged in the water.
The show also featured a spoken word performance and a DJ. The after-party was hosted by Jacolby Satterwhite, an artist known for performance and 3D animation - surrealist aesthetics that very much mirrored the theme of the evening.
VIRGIL ABLOH AT DESIGN MIAMI/ (and at virtually every event during Miami art week)
It's hard to debate that outside of art, the most common sighting in Miami Beach was Virgil Abloh. And, perhaps to rival the rank of art as most visible, he even exhibited in one of the fairs.
The former Kanye West collaborator is a DJ (a talent he shared widely with South Beach during the week), designer of both street wear (his label is named OFF-WHITE), and, as newly launched at the Design Miami/ fair, furniture too. But don't call him a Creative Director. He revealed his distaste for that term while speaking on a panel with fellow renaissance man Heron Preston. Yes, during art week Abloh was a panelist too.
While his contact list includes some of the most hailed names in the creative space, like Preston and West, the artists and designers who have inspired him are titans themselves: Tom Sachs, Marcel Duchamp, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio.
Abloh is a trained architect, so the modernist and utilitarianism seen in OFF-WHITE are also reflected in his new furniture range, to include tables, chairs, and credenzas constructed from steel, stone, and leather.
Look out for what's next from Abloh. It won't be hard to spot him.