Body Unbound: Contemporary Couture from the IMA's Collection

April 10, 2010-January 30, 2011

Paul Textile and Fashion Arts Gallery

Body Unbound, Contemporary Fashion from the IMA's Collection

Body Unbound: Contemporary Couture from the IMA’s Collection, on view from April 10, 2010 to January 30, 2011, examined the many ways designers have manipulated, transformed and liberated the female figure. The exhibition featured groundbreaking designs by Rudi Gernreich, Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, Thierry Mugler, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Gianni Versace and other avant-garde fashion designers. Body Unbound explored how these designers used modern construction and unexpected materials to contort, conceal, reveal or mock their wearers.

Fashions by visionaries Rudi Gernreich and Jean-Paul Gaultier illustrate how some designers played with the notions of shape and construction, challenging mid-century ideals of form. Examples by Issey Miyake and Junya Watanabe, based on the theories of androgyny and “universal beauty,” demonstrate how Japanese designers working in Paris in the 1980s and 1990s promoted an alternate way of styling the body, concealing its contours and silhouette. Pieces by Thierry Mugler, Gianni Versace and Franco Moschino display how designers utilized innovative textiles and subversive design elements to toy with the concepts of seduction and femininity.

Featuring a range of works, many of which are recent additions to the IMA’s fashion arts collection, Body Unbound demonstrated how some of the most influential designers of the 20th century helped shape the direction of avant-garde fashion. Organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Body Unbound: Contemporary Couture from the IMA’s Collection will be on view in the Paul Textile and Fashion Arts galleries. The IMA was its sole venue.

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