Tribe Female Mannequins for Olivier Theyskens exhibition in Antwerp

A new exhibition by MoMu in Antwerp for Olivier Theyskens features over 50 of Bonaveri's new Tribe Female Mannequins.
Ian Thompson
October 27, 2017

The Olivier Theyskens exhibition entitled 'She walks in beauty' is a retrospective of the designer's work from the late 1990s to the present and includes his own work, his time at Rochas from 2003, Nina Ricci from 2007 and Theory in 2010. Theyskens latest work is also featured.

This is the first major outing for Bonaveri's new Tribe Female Mannequins and illustrates how the new collection is able to infuse itself within a fashion narrative. The collection was specifically designed with this type of display in mind where retail designers, exhibition curators and visual merchandisers expect the mannequins to participate and contribute to the overall storytelling.

Tribe is able to achieve this by including differing heights, poses and details on each mannequin. This gives each of the poses a unique individuality whilst at the same time supporting a dynamic grouping capability. Traditional mannequin collections usually feature a single character in a multitude of poses. Tribe, on the other hand, is a collection of varied individuals with closely knit characteristics and features. This enables the Tribe collection to participate in a number of varied use cases from Theyskens' haute couture to more relaxed, youthful paired down displays.

Tribe also features four male positions that are complementary to the female collection. See the complete Tribe Collection here.

Olivier Theyskens debuted as an independent designer in 1998 and is often lauded as one of Belgium’s foremost fashion designers. His work is often described as ‘dark romantic’, imbued with Gothic undertones, setting him apart from many of his contemporaries. His unique style is evident in this latest exhibition, where a sense of surrealism is crafted into a tactile and sensual mix of fabrics. There is a powerful contrast in the fabrics and forms that generates a movement, excitement and thrill in the forms – something that Theyskens has been evidently aware of throughout his career.

By exploring these tactile, surreal ideas, Theyskens has generated a unique signature that is borne out by his use of multiple materials; plastic, recycled and processed textiles, combining with more traditional taffeta and chiffon. As is the case with many young designers, their early childhood experiments involved cuttings and collections of disparate fabrics, often found and combined into compositions. These naive constructions often form the basis of a deeper respect for form and fabric that later generates the sophisticated creations that Theyskens is now a master of.

‘Olivier Theyskens – She walks in Beauty‘ is on at MoMu Antwerp until the 18th of March 2018.

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