The Overworked Body: An Anthology of 2000s Dress

September 10–October 15, 2017

The exhibition opens on Sunday, September 10, 6-9pm

In 1971, Cecil Beaton presented Fashion: An Anthology at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Under the connoisseurship of a bon vivant, fashionable modern dress received its first museological moment. Now in 2017 over 50 contemporary designers are included in a new anthology of 2000s fashion, curated by Matthew Linde and organized by Ludlow 38’s curatorial resident Saim Demircan at MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38 and Mathew Gallery.

Fashion during the 2000s could be described as a period of hybrid subcultural styles remixing former selves, championing the principle of individual expression. The decade also saw the industry of fast-fashion massively expand its market, proliferating the presence of smart-casual wear. As such, fashion during this time embodied the conflicting roles of both globalization and homogeneity alongside pastiche and pluralism. However, what makes fashion from the aughts so debatable to define is its proximity to the present. It is only through the machine of history that fashion finds its protagonists.

How to define a recent history of fashion? In an effort to obstruct our tendency to assign a specific style to a decade, The Overworked Body: An Anthology of 2000s Dress surveys the iconoclastic to the underground, the everyday to the critical, and presents a period in fashion that is overloaded and overworked.

From key graduate collections at acclaimed schools such as Central Saint Martins and the Antwerp Academy, to designers’ first collaborations with multinational companies such as Target and H&M, the exhibition confronts the complexities that construct a fashion history yet to be understood.

Installed throughout Ludlow 38, a ramped catwalk – both display and platform for a series of performances during the show – accentuates the theatricality of many of the dresses on display; showing off what Linde describes as the “carnivalesque”. These physical pieces are shown alongside video playlists of exploratory runway performances, and a display of magazines from the time, including rare copies of all three issues of Made in USA and a Maison Martin Margiela-curated A Magazine.

The Overworked Body: An Anthology of 2000s Dress will be on view at MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38 and Mathew Gallery.

Including works by 20471120, A.F. Vandevorst, Adeline André, Alexander McQueen for Target, Andrea Ayala Closa, Andrew Groves, Anke Loh, Ann-Sofie Back, Annalisa Dunn, Arkadius, As Four, Benjamin Cho, Bernadette Corporation, Bernhard Willhelm, BLESS, Carol Christian Poell, Christophe Coppens, Comme des Garçons, Cosmic Wonder, Dorothée Perret, Dutch Magazine, FINAL HOME, Helmut Lang, Hideki Seo, House of Holland, Hussein Chalayan, Imitation of Christ, Isaac Mizrahi for Target, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier, Junya Watanabe, KEUPR/van BENTM, Kim Jones, Koji Arai, Kostas Murkudis, Lutz Huelle, Maison Martin Margiela, Maison Martin Margiela and Marina Faust, Miguel Adrover, Number (N)ine, Organization for Returning Fashion Interest, Proenza Schouler for Target, Purple Fashion, Rodarte for Target, Shelley Fox, Sophia Kokosalaki, Stephen Jones, Susan Cianciolo, Tao, Telfar, Undercover, Victoria Bartlett (previously VPL), Viktor & Rolf, Viktor & Rolf for H&M, Walter van Beirendonck, Wendy & Jim, Yohji Yamamoto, and ____fabrics interseason

Installation by Brent Garbowski

Text by Saim Demircan and Matthew Linde

Graphic design by Scott Langer and Sunny Park

Exhibition photography by Yair Oelbaum

Curated by Saim Demircan and Matthew Linde

Assistants: Eilidh Duffy and Anabel Hogefeld

Gallery Assistants: Amelie Meyer and Hiji Nam

Window display by Whitney Clafin

Wigs by Issac Davidson (Wigbar)

Consulant: Avena Gallagher

PR: Cynthia Leung

Thanks to Georg Blochmann, Harry Burke and Artists Space, Eilidh Duffy, Laura McLean-Ferris and Swiss Institut, Brent Garbowski, Anabel Hogefeld, Nicola Lees, Michael Sanabria, and Sara Stevenson.

Special thanks to lenders Shahan Assadourian, Dot Comme, Laura Gardaner, Matthew Higgs, Laila Sakini, and Hugh Egan Westland.

Exhibition generously supported by Goldsmith, Fusion Specialites, and Wigbar