Thursday, July 28, 2011

You don't want to see me when I'm angry

Hmm, the geek in me is a tad miffed right now. I know nothing about Valentino, the man or the brand. But I just saw this photo on Style Bubble from the 45th anniversary of Valentino's career, which consisted of an installation of pieces on mannequins in the building that houses the Ara Pacis. For those of you unfamiliar with Roman history, the Ara Pacis, Latin for 'altar of peace', was this elaborate mix of sculpture and iconography that very strongly indicated just how Augustus wanted himself (and his family) to be thought of by the Roman people. So, basically it was a pseudo-religious thing that was really art with a strong political message. And maybe the Valentino people were thinking art belongs with art, Italian is basically the same thing as Roman, etcetera, etcetera. But displaying his clothes right alongside this important piece of history strikes me as both odd and kind of offensive. It would be like installing a Jorge Luis Borges library inside the childhood home of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, just because they're both Argentine. Or an Elliott Smith exhibit inside Abraham Lincoln's house in Springfield, just because they're both American. Well, actually I wouldn't be offended by Elliott Smith anything being anywhere. But you get the point. Shouldn't there be some sort of cultural rules that keeps such things apart and in their rightful places? Or is any space fair game for a fashion show/installation?

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