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Staff Report

LOS ANGELES, 18 September 2006—Throughout history, the ideal body and silhouette have changed, and so too have the clothes that adorned them. During the first half of the twentieth century, an hourglass figure was most coveted, and designers like Christian Dior used construction techniques—cutting, layering, boning, and stitching—to give a rigid form, and a narrow waistline to the garment. Decades later, designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Hussein Chalayan would be the new breed of fashion pioneers who redefined beauty in silhouette and technique.

 Highlighting over one hundred examples of contemporary fashionable dress, a new show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, documents the radical ideas of those international designers who have challenged the traditional rules and conventions established by venerable European fashion houses.

Entitled Breaking the Mode: Contemporary Fashion from the Permanent Collection, and on view view until 7 January 2007, curators Sharon S. Takeda and Kaye D. Spilker have selected designers of the 1980s and 1990s that rebelled against the principles that ruled 1950s high fashion. These include: Gilbert Adrian, Azzedine AlaĂŻa, Nobuyoshi Araki, Christopher Bailey, CristĂłbal Balenciaga, Geoffrey Beene, Pierre Cardin, Hussein Chalayan, AndrĂ© Courrèges, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Jean Dessès, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Mariano Jose Maria Bernardo Fortuny, Dai Fujiwara, John Galliano, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Rudi Gernreich, Romeo Gigli, Madame Grès, Tim Hawkinson, Yoshiki Hishinuma, Akihiko Izukura, Charles James, Norma Kamali, Rei Kawakubo, Patrick Kelly, Lachasse, Christian LaCroix, Karl Lagerfeld, HervĂ© LĂ©ger, Georges Lepape, Martin Margiela, Alexander McQueen, A. H. Metzner, Issey Miyake, Yasumasa Morimura, Franco Moschino, Thierry, Mugler, Cai Guo Qiang, Reiko Sudo, Hiroko Suwa, Takezo, Olivier Theyskens, Philip Treacy, Madeleine Vionnet, Junya Watanabe, Vivienne Westwood, Yohji Yamamoto, and Andrea Zittel.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Pamela Golbin, curator of the Museum of Fashion and Textiles at the Louvre, Paris, will speak Monday, 9 October at 7 pm, in the Bing Theater at LACMA. Golbin is an expert on post-World War II fashion, especially French haute couture. Her recent books include Fashion Designers, 2001, and Balenciaga , September 2006. Admission is free.

Breaking the Mode: Contemporary Fashion from the Permanent Collection
17 September 2006 - 7 January 2007
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles
Tel: (1) 323 857 60 00

Photo: Thierry Mugler: Anatomique Computer Two-Piece Suit (detail), autumn/winter 1990
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Costume and Textiles Special Purpose Fund
©Thierry Mugler
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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