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Fashion / Style File

Inside Miami’s Art Week Mania

COS Steals the Show, Brings Art and Fashion Together in a Weirdly Wonderful Way

BY // 12.28.17

Miami Beach — Move over Fashion Week, Art Week Miami is quickly becoming the place to see and be seen for gallery grandees and stylish sartorialists alike. Each year in December, the city of Miami erupts with an almost overwhelming abundance of artistic innovation. This year, more than ever, art and fashion are colliding in countless ways.

The throngs of the world’s most up and coming influencers, artists, style experts and celebrities galore infiltrate Miami. What emerges is an insane amount of collaborations that bring out the best of both design and style.

Fendi and Louis Vuitton both tapped notable furniture designers and displayed their creations at Design Miami. The premier design forum takes place right next door to Art Basel South Beach. Gucci debuted a special handbag designed by artist Coco Capitán. Prada invited an exclusive set to its “Prada Double Club Miami” dance club/art installation to party down for the duration of the week.

COS, which named the game for these kinds of intersections, brought a collaboration to Miami Beach that reflected its deep seeded passion for supporting the arts and allowing the audience to engage in an extension of the brand .The London based, modernly sleek label has been showcasing its partnerships with artists at art and design fairs around the world since the inception of the company.

COS’s Design Miami installation, entitled “New Spring, Miami,” was born from its collaboration with the highly-acclaimed Studio Swine (Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers) founded by Japanese architect Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves. Groves designed the conceptual tree-like structure of the installation that released scented mist filled blossoms that burst on contact with the skin for an immersive, multi sensory experience.

It is like bubbles for grownups — and viewers are encouraged to interact with them. Wearing wool gloves allows you to play with these bubbles without popping them.

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Originally featured at the Salone de Mobile design fair in April of this year, the COS installation was restaged on a grander scale at the iconic art deco building, Temple House Miami, as an official satellite of Design Miami.

“The work reflects our shared values of timelessness and making something that is lasting and modern feeling” Groves says.

Studio Swine, known for its inventive use of materials which brings the ephemeral experience of the bubble-like blossoms lasting on certain fabrics until they break on contact with the skin. The experience of the installation has an appeal that transcends the brand’s core values of simplistic innovation and conjures up thoughts of renewal and vitality — often just as a memory.

COS creative director Karin Gustafsson sees the brand’s approach to the relationship with the arts as a natural progression.

“I think we always look towards other disciplines and get inspired by how artists approach projects,” Gustafsson says. “There is a lot to learn and a lot to get inspired by. COS doesn’t start with the catwalk, we get inspired by other artists and design in general.

“We feel that art is often ahead of fashion.”

This explains COS’s emphasis on partnerships between the brand and emerging artists. There is something to be said for this approach to creating clothing. Fashion is just a guest (albeit, a very important one) at the dinner table of the many creative outlets that surround us. And what an entertaining and inspiring dinner party that must be.

To really cap off the collaboration, the exhibition also hosted a pop-up shop of special pieces designed by COS inspired by the New Spring installation. The pieces reflect the work’s simplistic use of materials and carefully selected clean lines and colors.

A personal momento of the collaborative installation is still attainable — all of the pieces from the Design Miami installation pop up shop are available both online and at the Houston COS store in River Oaks District. The collision of style and design has benefits that even trickle down to one’s own closet.

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