‘MAD’ for mannequins

“Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin,” which continues at the Museum of Arts and Design through Aug. 30, puts the spotlight on a very particular part of the fashion world – and a related event sounds quite intriguing.

First up – here’s how the forward-thinking Manhattan museum has described the show dedicated to this talented man who traces his roots to Mount Vernon:

“‘Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin’ (is) the first museum exhibition to explore the work of renowned New York-based designer Ralph Pucci, who is widely regarded for his innovative approach to the familiar form of the mannequin. Having collaborated with luminaries such as Diane von Furstenberg, Patrick Naggar, Andrée Putman, Kenny Scharf, Anna Sui, Isabel and Ruben Toledo and Christy Turlington, Pucci’s mannequins not only expand the parameters of this ubiquitous sculptural form but reflect major cultural trends of the past three decades.

“As Pucci was building his business in the 1970s, the notion of the ‘super model’ – the living mannequin with a personality – emerged. Pucci captured this catalytic moment in his work, finding inspiration from sources as varied as Greek and Roman statues and the performance costumes of the New York Dolls. Pucci personified the previously anonymous form in new and challenging ways, creating visions of physical beauty that were more specific, empowered and diverse than the fashion industry had previously allowed. More than commercial armatures or sculptural forms, his mannequins became agents of change in our attitudes to the body, to fashion and to individual identity.

“‘The Art of the Mannequin’ (includes) more than 30 of Pucci’s most important mannequins, as well as an in-gallery recreation of his sculpture studio. Pucci’s master sculptor and longtime collaborator, Michael Evert, will be in residence during the exhibition’s run to give visitors a first-hand look at the creative process, from initial modeling in clay to the rendering of the fiberglass end-product. In conjunction with the installation of mannequins the renowned designers Isabel and Ruben Toledo will curate a selection of jewelry from MAD’s collection which will be installed on Ruben’s famous surrealist jewelry mannequins.”

If you’ve not yet visited this exhibition, why not plan something around the evenings in which Evert will be “live sculpting” a variety of models?

The series, which has already included fashion designer Mary McFadden and furniture icon Vladimir Kagan, will continue with Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo, the iconic store’s senior vice president of the fashion office and the director of women’s fashion and store presentation (June 25), followed by celebrated fashion designers Anna Sui (July 23) and Isabel Toledo (Aug. 27).

The evenings get under way at 6 p.m. in the second floor galleries and are free with those evenings’ pay-what-you-wish admission.

For more, visit madmuseum.org.

– Mary Shustack

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *