I saw two art installations in Paris this trip, the Musée Picasso and the Cherevichkiotvichki SS 2018 presentation. I also stood in line for an hour in the rain at Les Arts Decoratifs before I realized the exhibition had sold out. If there is a moral to this story, know that mastery takes time.
The Cherevichki showroom is carefully crafted in the same manner as the collection. Linen, cotton and other natural fibers, all sourced from Lithuania, hang from wooden frames in staggered sheets, each one fastidiously decorated with the raw items that begat the collection. Cotton blooms are sewn into blossoms, rubber drips down linen, and twine, wire and wood intersect to create a textile wonderland. The scene takes back to Picasso's deconstructed guitars. In retrospect, if I had more presence in the moment, I would have removed my shoes and navigated the room like a temple, pausing at each item to pay homage to the craftsmanship.
Here's a little context so you can also appreciate this (if you don't already). Cherevichkiotvichki is the offspring of Lithuanian-born Victoria Andrejeva. To my calculations, it's the thirteenth Cherevichki collection and yet another testament to her mastery of process and freedom of form. The label (mostly leather, mostly shoes in the beginning) met early acclaim with cosigns from Rei Kawakubo (Trading Museum Comme des Garçon) and successive collaborations with Yohji Yamamoto, Toogood and Dover Street Market, as well as Mona Moore in LA.
This collection comes in a set, like its predecessors. Part one is titled 'Transformation into Ensuing Conformation.' The white Parisian room pulls my attention every which way as I gingerly step (cursing my tall black boots) through the delicate structures around the shoes. I took inventory of the things I knew to expect, the quality, the innovation, the collaboration. I would offer comparisons of Cherevichki to other brands but it feels like a different world altogether, one from a past time connected to the future.
It's all art, in which she seamlessly zips her USSR inspired almost-Edwardian forms with details and raw modern edges that call out to Yamamoto. Almost invisible zippers appear on the seams of a light but durable jacket. Leather handbags with graffiti'd canvases reveal scrawled Russian profanity and coffee cup stains. Grey almost gauze-like Lithuanian textiles fill out the shapes of soviet uniform pattern jackets with removable inserts, panels, and collars (shown below half-zipped). I mentally wish-list everything, but specifically a smooth cream underhat that straps under the chin like an updated bonnet.