A legion of paint-splattered mannequins currently lines the ground floor staircase of Dover Street Market, forming an exhibition of garments by emerging designers floor that were turned into installation art by the Chinese activist-artist Ai Wei Wei.
The creative collaboration was initiated by V Magazine, which had enlisted Ai as artistic director of its latest fashion editorial, and spotlights clothes from the Fall-Winter 2014 collections of the current generation of Comme des Garçons-approved talents, including Ganryu, Noir Kei Ninomiya, 1205, Craig Green, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Hood By Air, Jacquemus, KTZ, Lee Roach, Melitta Baumeister, Phoebe English, Proper Gang, Shaun Samson, and Sibling.
The artist referenced his 2006 Colored Vases sculptures, treating his own studio personnel and friends as models as Neolithic and Han Dynasty-era vases ready to be painted in a contradictory condition. Writing to V from Beijing, Ai explained: “Pouring a color on an outfit… creates a midpoint between two conflicting ideas. Gravity and the shape of the clothes combine to create a unique moment. Using these cultural products as ready-made [objects] celebrates and reinterprets the intention of creativity. I think this act shows my respect toward their creativity.”