Stephan Jaklitsch, the architect for Marc Jacobs stores, has installed his piece for the Meatpacking District’s Design Week (May 13-28) within the walls of the boutique he designed in 2001 for Shelly Steffee and her eponymous ready-to-wear collection. Titled Architecture Inside Out, the exhibition takes shape in the form of what the architect calls the “Looking Device,” a large asymmetrical structure composed of a steel frame wrapped in dyed twine and burlap. On the smallest side of this larger-than-life geometric object (there is just enough room to get around it without disturbing Shelly’s architectural and beautifully constructed garments as they occupy their designated color-grouped spaces along the walls), the tiniest of pinholes offers those who can locate it (or reach it! There is a box to stand on for those of us who are vertically challenged, which is to say under 5’6”), an eyeful of vintage porn. I saw a few seconds of a curvy blonde in a bustier slapping someone or something just out of frame.
These two designers may express themselves in disparate materials and on differing scales but experiencing examples of their work as they occupy a single space makes it clear that they have a shared interest in exploring and playing with our understanding of interiors and exteriors, both physically and intellectually. Don’t miss the image collage displayed behind the lush gray chiffon curtain that separates the fitting rooms from the rest of the store.
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