previews

  • Patrick Kelly, fall/winter jumpsuit and apron, 1987, jumpsuit: wool and acrylic knit; apron: cotton twill denim, metal.

    “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love”

    Philadelphia Museum of Art
    26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
    April 27–November 30, 2014

    Curated by Dilys Blum

    An African American designer based in Paris in the 1980s, Patrick Kelly was a fashion-world anomaly whose irreverent looks boldly addressed issues of race, sexuality, and class. Now, a generation after Kelly’s untimely death from aids in 1990, his work as jovial provocateur is considered in full in this capacious survey. Presenting more than eighty ensembles, the exhibition highlights the designer’s signature interweaving of autobiography, racial stereotypes,and cliché notions of luxury and taste, which Kelly frequently both celebrated and satirized. Photography by the daring Oliviero Toscani (of ’80s and ’90s Benetton fame) and Pierre et Gilles, rare video footage of the designer’s runway shows, and Kelly’s personal collection of reclaimed racist memorabilia fill out the show, which is punctuated by the adjoining exhibition, “Gerlan Jeans ♥ Patrick Kelly,” an homage by New York–based-street-wear designer Gerlan Marcel.