Marques’Almeida, fall 2014 – text by Silvia Bombardini

Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,


Lounge robes, loose feathers and kitten heels, sharp enough to be overheard when climbing a grand staircase. Bellbottoms and plush, wet-looking carmine velvet, the upholstery of opulence past. It's the 1970s all over again, romanticized by Patti Smith's memoir, and the decadent, dusty warmth of the Chelsea Hotel. A postcard of its facade as it looks today, wrapped in scaffolding and legend, welcomed us yesterday to Marques'Almeida's early morning show: a candid, soulful parade of their signature frayed denim and some luscious bright fur, that looked back without nostalgia, but with tenderness and wonder. It reminds me of something Dmitry Komis said a couple of years ago, about the exhibition The Quality of Presence that he was curating in Suite 302: "People talk about the Chelsea as if it has an anthropomorphized presence. […] At the same time it is a very public space, one that is beloved and visited by strangers every day". A sentiment perhaps shared by the Portuguese Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, who delivered a collection that feels accessible and lived-in, and pays homage to the famed ghosts of the past (those of Janis Joplin and Robert Mapplethorpe among others), while still being relaxed, spontaneous and young.

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