Moda Povera by Olivier Saillard

A meaningful interpretation of fashion

On February 2nd, we attended “Moda Povera VI: Les Vêtements Des Autres” – a poetic performance by Olivier Saillard. It took place at Triennale Milano in collaboration with Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain

As a matter of fact, considering the latest events associated with fashion, Triennale Milano is emerging as the premier destination to celebrate fashion as culture. Which seems a big challenge lately.

On the occasion of Ron Mueck’s exhibition, open until March 10, Triennale Milano and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain give carte blanche to the fashion historian Olivier Saillard, who will curate three performances part of the “Nomadic Nights.”

Moda Povera by Olivier Saillard
Moda Povera by Olivier Saillard

Olivier Saillard in his words

To introduce the event, we think it makes sense to share Saillard’s words, as we find them remarkably poignant:

“Fashion weeks serve to present, season after season, a prospective vision of the clothes to be worn in the future. Thanks to fashion shows, a theatre of appearances is created, not only on the catwalks but, above all, among the guests, famous people or unknown. Strangely enoughthe dress presented, of which one can assess with relative comparison the similar creativity from one designer to another, no longer seems to be a priorityThe person who promotes it with a post counts more.

My goal is to propose my idea of Fashion Week against this asphyxiated system. The one with which I want to show the intimate role of everyone’s clothes and give the spectator, the guest, the poetic position in the relationship with her clothesTo the new clothes, I contrast ours from the past, from the life we have lived through.

On the occasion of a participatory fashion show, I want to present a non-prospective collection like those of others, but on the contrary, a retrospective and introspective one.

For this reason, we recommend that every guest participate in the Moda Povera VI fashion show with a garment of their own choice. A beloved dress coming from your own wardrobe or a dress from a loved one. These clothes, left at the entrance, will be the object of a performance by a collective of ten models who will parade in each other’s clothes.

During an event in which the fashion show carves out a space among the spectators-actors, the models show the poetry of everyday life, of the ordinary, and of everyone’s clothing, creating a true ceremony of intimacy.

It’s no longer about the designer, the brand, or the logo. Here, it is a question of traces, of wear and tear, of caresses of clothes, carbon paper of each of us.

All types of clothes are accepted and searched for: used, everyday, banal or ordinary clothes, fashion clothes, work uniforms, formal dresses, etc…”

Olivier Saillard

Moda Povera: the performance

At the entrance, the staff collects the garments and pins a beige grosgrain ribbon on which they write in black the name of the guest. Once tagged, the garments become an integral part of the performance. Each performer, wearing a black gown, calls a garment by name. Then, delicate touches, almost like caresses, communicate sensations, attention, memories. A subtle ambience of intimacy and care quietly unfolds and involves the spectators by creating an experience of participatory theatre.

Can clothes regain and convey a profound meaning? In the hands of Olivier Saillard, yes. An intense performance also thanks to the ten models who embody effortless elegance and grace, qualities now on the brink of disappearing.

Inspired by Arte Povera – an avant-garde movement of the 1960’s making use of simple, often natural or recycled material – Moda Povera by Olivier Saillard is a poetic interpretation of clothes. But it goes beyond that. In fact, it restores dignity to a fashion field that has lost any trace of culture.

Fashion that becomes art; fashion that is culture.

Moda Povera by Olivier Saillard Read More »

Ron Mueck at Triennale Milano

Hyper Realism & Reflections on Contemporary Atrocities

Yesterday, our journey led us to experience Ron Mueck at Triennale Milano: his first solo exhibition, in collaboration with the ‘Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain.’

Unfortunately, we missed the inaugural event. So, looking for something interesting beyond our never-ending festive family meals, we headed straight to Triennale. This experience gave us a chance to reflect on the atrocities of our time. Indeed, it served as a poignant metaphor for Christmas 2023. While the world celebrates, Palestine, under bombing attacks, is teetering on the edge of extinction.

Art installations possess a unique force: they provoke contemplation, stirring emotions even more amid silence. In fact, this art exhibition was an evocative call to reflect on our present-day existence. Most importantly, the inhumanity prevailing within it.

Ron Mueck: hyper-realistic sculptures at Triennale Milano

The exhibit comprised six sculptures, each a vivid narrative in its own right. ‘Mass’ (2017) a towering assemblage of a hundred oversized human skulls. ‘In Bed’ (2005) depicts an immense woman seemingly fraught with anxiety. ‘Woman with Sticks’ (2009), a middle-aged woman bent backwards, struggling to hold a bundle of sticks twice her size. ‘This Little Piggy’ (2023) a composition capturing subjects engaged in the slaughtering of a pig, a yet unfinished creation emblematic of the artist’s evolving style. ‘En Garde’ (2023), three colossal dogs in varied poses, and ‘Baby’ (2023), a tiny newborn suspended on the wall.

Ron Mueck
‘Mass’ by Ron Mueck

Art: a mirror that reflects humanity

These sculptures, diverse in size and form, possess an evocative power, stirring deep empathy. Mueck’s meticulous craftsmanship, evident in the intricate details and nuanced use of colour, rendered these works hyper-realistic. They were undeniably captivating yet also unsettling, compelling us to confront our perceptions of reality.

Walking among the installations provided an immersive experience, both physical and visual, that touched us profoundly. Of all the sculptures, ‘Mass’ left the most haunting impression.

Contemplating ‘Mass’ by Ron Mueck at Triennale Milano felt like a metaphor for the atrocities of our era: stark imagery that mirrors the dissonance of this year’s Christmas.
While Christmas traditionally embodies sentiments of love, peace, and generosity, the atmosphere of Christmas 2023 felt incredibly strange and somewhat hypocritical. Celebrating the nativity seems pointless when the very birthplace has been ravaged. And over 7,000 children have been killed.

Among such devastation, what does the world truly celebrate? Merry what?

Ron Mueck at Triennale Milano Read More »

Triennale: “A conversation with Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès”

Insights for the future of fashion

Yesterday at the Triennale Teatro Milano, we witnessed a special event: “A conversation with Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès.” For the level of culture transmitted, the interview was worth it an entire fashion week. Yes, because fashion is culture.

Cathy Horyn – “The New York Magazine” and “The Cut” fashion editor – with Marco Sammicheli – director of the Museum of Italian Design, Triennale Milano – conducted the interview.

Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès: A history of culture & craftsmanship

The creative director of Hermès made us know more about the Maison in an attempt to analyse the issues, challenges and transformation the fashion industry faces in this rough time. Dumas narrated the anecdotes, the history of the family and his personal journey, and craftsmanship as fundamental elements of the Maison. No arrogance, only passion. In fact, the word culture has emerged several times.

“Being a creative director is turning off the ego to listen to others’ ideas.”

“Robert Dumas once said: luxury is something you can repair.”

“We don’t need marketing.” (Like saying we don’t need to trick people).

“My values are sincerity, honestly, quality.”

Most of all, he focused on the creative and artisanal process. Also, he talked about “Petite H” – a workshop where they collect all the scraps and pieces that do not pass quality control so that designers can give them a second life. In other words, they recycle and upcycle.

However, he’s been clear on one point: “Sustainability, that’s where we have a problem in fashion.”
In fact, they are experimenting with vegetable leather and undertaking low-impact practices. He said, maybe, in 15 or 20 years, the industry will reach sustainable standards. But we are afraid we do not have 15 years to make change.

A conversation with Pierre-Alexis Dumas Hermès

Martin Margiela & modern luxury

The conversation ends with a note about Martin Margiela, wanted in the company by Pierre-Alexis’ father.
“Margiela helped redefine the idea of luxury. He could go straight to the essence.”
At that point, we were moved by everything that no longer exists and by what is now fashion.
The image projected onto the screen was the one we reported here as a quote. It was 1999, and we can find everything there:

  • timeless style par excellence, i.e. timeless fashion
  • simplicity as added value
  • quiet luxury
  • genderless

The words culture, tradition, craftsmanship, design, and creativity stood out throughout the event “A conversation with Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès.” Specifically, the whole story of Hermès brought out what is now missing in fashion: family businesses disappeared, and so have their soul. Corporations took the place of family businesses, but brands and maisons have no souls anymore.

You know, there is always something to learn.
Hello, fashion industry!

Triennale: “A conversation with Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès” Read More »

Siamo Foresta

Contemporary Art to save the nature

Yesterday we attended the opening of the “Siamo Foresta” exhibition at Triennale Milano in collaboration with Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporaine. We are forest – is the language of contemporary art focused on nature and aiming to save it from human impact.

Beyond anthropocentrism

“Siamo Foresta (we are forest) draws its inspiration from an aesthetic and political vision of the forest as an egalitarian multiverse of living peoples, human and non-human, and as such offers an allegory of a possible world beyond our anthropocentrism. The exhibition stages an unprecedented dialogue between thinkers and defenders of the forest; between indigenous artists – from New Mexico to the Paraguayan Chaco passing through the Amazon – and non-indigenous artists (Brazil, China, Colombia, France).” – source

Siamo Foresta: artists involved

“Focusing on artists from Latin America, We Are Forest presents, amongst others, the works of Jaider Esbell (Macuxi, Brazil), Cleiber Bane (Huni Kuin, Brazil), Floriberta Femin, Angelica Klassen, Esteban Klassen, Marcos Ortiz (Chaco, Paraguay), Sheroanawe Hakiihiwë, Joseca Mokahesi, and Ehuana Yaira (Yanomami, Venezuela and Brazil), Johanna Calle (Colombia), Alex Cerveny, Bruno Novelli, Santidio Pereira, Solange Pessoa, Adriana Varejao, and Luiz Zerbini (Brazil).” – source

We recommend you visit the exhibition, it’s open until October 29!

Siamo foresta

As we entered the rooms, a quote caught our attention:

“The forest is alive. It can only die if the white people persist in destroying it: if they succeed, the rivers will disappear underground, the soil will crumble, the trees will shrivel up, and the stones will crack in the heat. The dried-up earth will become empty and silent.”

David Kopenawa, The Falling Sky 2010

Siamo Foresta: nature focused contemporary art

Captured by green in every shade and two corners of the forest installation with large lush plants we could walk through. And bright colours; but also some impressive black and white, all with potent imagery and a touching sense of light. Indeed we were amazed to discover the drawings some indigenous self-taught artists made just with a ballpoint pen.
A fun detail, a man saw Cri standing next to a painting in her anis slipdress by Marc Le Bihan and said: “Your colours perfectly match this painting. You should be in it! Let me take you a picture!”
Indeed, we all wore colours in line with the exhibition. Perhaps when we made our Spring-Summer 23, the forest mood inspired us!

In the end, another quote made us reflect:

“It began with separating man from nature and establishing him as a sovereign kingdom; it was thus believed to erase the most irrefutable character of him, namely that he is primarily a living being. And, remaining blind to this common property, the field has been given free rein to all abuses.”  

Claude Levi-Strauss – Structural Anthropology 2

This quote from Claude Levi-Strauss – Structural Anthropology 2 – is dated 1973. In 2023, fifty years later, there’s a summit on sustainability every day! Nothing has changed over time. In fact, now climate change is irreversible, but we are just talking.

Siamo Foresta Read More »

Never too late to start

The extraordinary paintings of Sally Gabori

It’s never too late to start may seem like a catchphrase. Usually, we tend to believe that there is a specific path we must follow to find what is possible for us. But we discovered an artist we didn’t know about, Sally Gabori. Her powerful story and artistic career taught us that it is never too late to start doing something and find your way.

Last week we went to Triennale Milano to attend Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori’s exhibition. It collects 30 marvellous paintings that show intense brushstrokes of colours beautifully paired.

Never too late to start
Sally Gabori exhibition – Triennale Milano – Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain

Considered one of the greatest contemporary Australian artists of the past two decades, Sally Gabori started painting in 2005, around the age of eighty and quickly earned national and international acclaim.
Before her death in 2015, she had a few years of rare creative intensity, developing her unique work with no ties to other aesthetic currents, particularly within contemporary Aboriginal painting.

An extensive canvas, Sally Gabori painting, contemporary art
Sally Gabori exhibition – Triennale Milano – Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain

Sally Gabori’s story

Gabori was born in 1924 on Bentick Island, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, off the northern coast of Australia. She was a Kaiadilt woman who spoke the Kayardilt language. Her name, Mirdidngkingathi Juwaranda, comes from the Kaiadilt tradition by which people take their name from their birthplace. Therefore, her name indicates she was born at Mirdidingki, a small creek south of Bentinck, and her “totem animal” is “juwarnda”, or dolphin.

The Kaiadilt, a population of 125 in 1944, were the last Aboriginal people of coastal Australia to establish lasting ties with Europeans. They had a traditional lifestyle relying on their island’s natural resources.

In 1940, Presbyterian missionaries settled on Mornington Island and tried unsuccessfully to convince the Kaiadilt to join their mission. But in 1948, a hurricane flooded and contaminated their land. So, the Presbyterian led the 63 survivors, including Gabori and her family, to their mission. Once in Mornington, they housed the Kaiadilt in camps on the beach, and the children, separated from their parents, in dormitories inside the mission. Also, they’ve forbidden kids from speaking their mother tongue, detaching them from their culture.

Sally Gabori paintings, contemporary art
Sally Gabori exhibition – Triennale Milano – Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain

The revelation at 80 years old

Around the age of eighty, Gabori visited the Mornington Art Center for the first time, and the contact with painting was a revelation. Indeed, she went there whenever she could, even painting several canvases per day.
Six months after her revelation, she had her first solo exhibition.

She left more than 2.000 canvases. Her paintings celebrate different places of her native island, which she had not visited for many years. Indeed, they have deep meaning for herself, her family, and her people.

In 2013, Gabori was invited to present her work at the 55th Venice Art Exhibition. And at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
In 2022, the “Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain” in Paris presented the first extensive exhibition of Sally Gabori’s work in Europe.

Bright and bold colours on large size-canvases, absolute formal freedom and boundless imagination. Impossible not to feel deep emotions. Stunning! A must-see if you are in Milan until May 14th.

An exhibition and a life lesson: whatever you want to do, it’s never too late to start!

Never too late to start Read More »