Who? Aitor Throup, the cerebral, boundary-pushing menswear designer whose highly acclaimed if erratic output over the years has been variously exhibited through sculpture, film, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the international design fair, Salone Del Mobile in Milan and even on the backs of England’s World Cup players. He has never limited himself to the structures of a conventional runway show, the latest example, an installation at London's Dover Street Market.
What? Following a preview launch of his New Object Research product line in June and the release of his first commercially available product (the Shiva Skull Bag); Throup’s DSM installation serves as a further taster of his much-anticipated inaugural ready to wear collection, due to be shown in January next year. The installation inhabits multiple areas of the store and features specially made sculptures wearing four new archetypes of his work; representing the first time a complete outfit of his will be available to purchase. Throup was approached by Comme des Garçons’ Adrian Joffe to collaborate over a year ago – “I kept postponing because I needed time to get things right. But I knew I wanted to hold something special back for them. Dover Street see me more as an artist than a designer, so the idea of doing something during Frieze was a natural progression.”
"Dover Street see me more as an artist than a designer, so the idea of doing something during Frieze was a natural progression.”
Why? Says Throup of his decision to show new work outside of the fashion cycle, “That’s not why work exists or at least it’s not limited to it. I’ve been thinking about fine art galleries and working in an art context. I’m establishing the format, the concept and creating a universe for the brand. I’ve defined the parameters so that they can evolve.” But make no mistake, Throup’s excited at the prospect of the conceptual finally being turned into product - “That’s why I wanted to do this thing where we turn the concepts on its head where consumers can see it first. This platform is to showcase and sell it. I’m embracing, framing and glorifying the retail process. I’m at peace with its endpoint.”
Aitor Throup’s installation is open at Dover Street Market until October 28.
Text by Kin Woo