Atelier E.B creates fashion collections, commissioned displays and interiors, as well as textiles, live events and publications. At the Serpentine, Lipscombe and McKenzie will explore the relationships between art, design, commerce and display. Mannequins are part of the rich history of display in consumer culture and for this exhibition Atelier E.B has extensively researched their roles in the World Fairs and Expositions of the twentieth century through to iconic department stores, ethnographic museums and fashion retail under Communism.
The Serpentine exhibition will explore this research through Atelier E.B’s selection of historic sculptures, photographs and objects, including works by mannequin-maker Adel Rootstein, sculptor Rudolf Belling, artist Fred Wilson and fashion photographer Pasquale De Antonis among many others. These interests extend to the history of window dressing and its expert 'trimmers’, including Gene Moore, Natasha Kroll and Michael Haynes, whose relationship with cultural institutions created a template for exhibiting contemporary fashion that is enjoyed by the wider public today.
Collaboration is at the core of Atelier E.B’s practice, which is characterised by a passion for working with artisan materials and quality-led production methods. For this exhibition, Lipscombe and McKenzie have invited a number of contemporary artists to produce a mannequin or display device on which to present garments from Atelier E.B’s previous fashion collections. These artists recognise the cultural significance of clothing within their own practice and are customers and collaborators of the label. They include Tauba Auerbach, Anna Blessmann, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Steff Norwood, Elizabeth Radcliffe, Bernie Reid and Markus Selg.
Jasperwear, Atelier E.B’s highly anticipated new collection, which features cashmere wovens, merino and jersey knitwear, jewellery, tracksuits, shirts, skirts and outerwear, as well as an umbrella, incorporates collaborations with labels and manufacturers they admire, including Vionnet, Ratti and Fulton. The Jasperwear collection will be showcased in a series of interiors within the exhibition, including a trompe l’oeil shop window, a dressing room for visitors to try on and order items, new works by Atelier E.B and artists Markus Proschek and Calum Stirling.
Lafayette Anticipations - Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris, is co-producer of two new works in the exhibition and will welcome Atelier E.B’s Passer-bytour in February 2019, following its Serpentine run. The Serpentine is committed to exhibiting the best in contemporary design through the annual pioneering Serpentine Pavilion commission and past exhibitions including Martino Gamper in 2014 and Konstantin Grcic in 2009. Passer-by will be the Galleries’ first exhibition to extend into fashion and will include the work of more than 30 makers spanning fashion, sculpture, painting, graphic and commercial design, photography, craft and film.