The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has tapped designers from accessories and apparel label RTH as well as jewelry brand Gabriela Artigas & Co. to create items for its fall 2017 Wear LACMA collection.
The art-meets-fashion mashup, the brainchild of Katherine Ross, a fashion consultant who formerly worked at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (and the wife of LACMA Director Michael Govan), launched in October 2012. It recruits local design talent to create limited-edition items each season that are inspired by artwork in the museum's permanent collection and over the years, has served up everything from the Elder Statesman's cashmere T-shirts and scarves inspired by Granville Redmond's 1926 Impressionist painting "California Poppy Field" (in 2015) to Oliver Peoples sunglasses inspired by Chris Burden's "Urban Light" street lamp installation (for fall 2016).
René Holguin, founder of RTH, used portraits in the museum's Latin American and American Art collections as the inspirational starting point for riffs on his signature leather accessories, including Henry Inman's "No-Tin (Wind), a Chippewa Chief"; "Pepita," a 1917 painting by Robert Henri; a 19th century portrait of an African American sailor by an unknown artist; and Felipe Santiago Gutierrez's 1876 painting "Indian Woman With Marigold" (also the inspiration for shoemaker George Esquivel's leather sandals and desert boots that were part of the spring 2014 Wear LACMA collection). The resulting feather necklaces, floral wrist corsages, Peter Pan collars and floral leis will retail from $225 to $1,200.
Gabriela Artigas & Co.'s sister act of Gabriela and Teresita found inspiration from two items in LACMA's Art of the Ancient Americas collection: a pair of hammered gold tweezers from the 15th century and Spondylus Shell With Lidded Jade Bowl, an 1,100- to 1,400-year-old sculpture. From there they created an assortment of gold-plate, shell-shaped jewelry (chokers, pendant necklaces, earrings and a hair pin ranging from $320 to $1,035) that reference their Mexican heritage and shared love of the Zapotec culture.
The new collection officially launches Nov. 15 and will be available at the brick-and-mortar LACMA Store at 5905 Wilshire Blvd. and online here. Some limited-edition pieces from past collections are still available.
For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me at @ARTschorn.