Thursday, March 30, 2023

Duro Olowu’s New Art Show & Pop-Up Boutique, “More Material”

Launching his second ever art show and pop-up boutique, this time titled “Duro Olowu: More Material,” the Jamaican-Nigerian designer – known for his careful tailoring and beautiful use of print – fuses fashion, photography, film and art with an all female theme. The result is an unmissable follow up to his first installation – a visual treat for Olowu’s New York-based audience.

Two years in the making and opened on June 25th at Salon 94 on the Bowery, NY, the pop up, Mr Olowu explained, was curated to;

“…show female rebellion in an elegant and less confrontational way.”


The work is a cool collection of pretty things and textures from Olowu’s personal archive, of which he told Vogue;

“You grow, and like most things, you find more things, you discover more things. But what is really relevant now is just this concept of fashion, art, and objects, and really showing how women are perceived. And how they perceive themselves.

The woman changes, she gets older, she gets wiser, more comfortable with herself, and that has to permeate the show.”


The Lagos-born, London-based award-winning designer, said;

“This show is important because for a long time there was a relation between art and fashion, and appreciation of beauty and integrity, and that has disappeared because we live in such a commercial world now.

I love fashion but it’s not my only life. This is how I appreciate the work of other people. For me it’s refreshing.”


And, noting Picasso, Matisse and Cindy Sherman as artists he admires, Mr Olowu explained;

“The real revolution for me does not always come in the form of the most extreme expression. Whether it’s abstract or contemporary, the experience comes out of something that I admire, and I have a real respect for the artists represented here.”

The eclectic mix of art includes photographs by Juergen Teller and Cindy Sherman, drawings and illustrations by Antonio Lopez and Antonio Pippolini, as well as a new film by Hassan Hajjaj, sculptures, jewellery and tapestries to behold plus other works by  noted artists, including Nick Cave.


Of the resulting show, Duro says;

“[The] link with clothing and fashion is still very strong with this show. You look left and you can feel the emphasis on textile and clothing and jewelry and objects, and at the same time you are not overwhelmed by the art in the show. It all seems to form one huge cabinet of curiosities.”


The designer’s own work is of course woven into the mix, with selected Duro Olowu pieces up for sale – like those of his impressive  Spring/Summer’14 collection – and a nod to his textile inspiration comes via an installation of 20th century Yoruba women’s garments (a rare collection of Nigerian ‘bubas’) that are also on display.

So, if you find yourself in New York before August 1st when it ends, be sure to pop in on this pivotal pop up and delve into the world of Mr Duro Olowu. Find out more, here.



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