Duro Olowu is renowned for his magpie eye. The Nigerian designer, who has a store in London and shows at New York Fashion Week, has built a cult following of fashion insiders for his cacophonous prints and powerfully feminine tailoring. Now he welcomes us into his wonderfully colorful, globetrotting world at his new exhibition More Material at Salon 94 Bowery, NYC. The group show draws together a wealth of art and objets trouvés from Olowu’s friends and personal archive into one deeply immersive display.
Photography by Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Malick Sidibé and Juergen Teller all delight the eye alongside sculptures by Rachel Feinstein, a film by Hassan Hajjaj, instamatics of Grace Jones by Antonio Lopez, illustrations by Antonio Pippolini, ceramics by Sylvie Auvray, tapestries by Caroline Achaintre, eyewear by Cyrus Kabiru and chairs by Les Lelanne.
“My ongoing discovery of both the new and the old is key to my personal joie de vivre,” Olowu explains of his curatorial approach. “Creating an environment to share my discoveries and create new counterpoints and understandings for others has proven a fantastic way to share my passion with a larger audience.”
Also on show is an installation of vintage Yoruba garments and textiles, which mingle with Olowu’s ornate S/S 14 capes. “I wanted to show female rebellion in an elegant and less confrontational way,” he says of his designs and the central theme of the show – women. More Material picks up where his 2012 show Material at the nearby Salon 94 Freemans left off. Thankfully there seems to be no bottom to his treasure trove of delights.
More Material, until August 1st at Salon 94 Bowery, 243 Bowery, NYC
Images: Juergen Teller and Luis Monteiro
Words: Helen Jennings