Fashion at an art fair? While the two genres have long collaborated a catwalk show at a global art fair such as Frieze has never been staged. Global fashion destination MATCHESFASHION made that possible this year with Frieze London’s first fashion show featuring the S/S20 collection of British designers Symonds Pearmain to an audience of art collectors and VIP clients, whisking in a new crowd into the esteemed art fair, adding to the already fashionable array of guests perusing the art on show.
The partnership between MATCHESFASHION and Frieze is testament to increasing collaborations between the worlds of art, design and fashion.
A view of works by Walter and Zoniel at the MATCHESFASHION booth at Frieze London
“We want to bring a sense of enjoyment back to retail—this was the philosophy behind 5 Carlos Place and by collaborating with Frieze we can highlight our unique mix of content, commerce and community,” said Jess Christie, Chief Brand Officer, MATCHESFASHION. “We have created a programme of cultural conversations and events that will inspire our customers and initiate new connections.”
The London activation is the third in a series of collaborations defining a global partnership between Matches and Frieze. The first took place in Los Angeles in February 2019 followed by New York in May 2019, drawing in approximately 7,000 guests to the luxury retailer’s space over the course of seven days at both fairs.
For Frieze London, MATCHESFASHION continued its thought-provoking programme of events covering the intersections of art, design and fashion and also human rights.
Artworks by Craig Green at the MATCHESFASHION booth at Frieze London
Outside the MATCHESFASHION lounge at Frieze, decorated in the company’s signature marble print, a long line was found. A quick step inside and you’ve entered inside the Matches world complete with a specially commissioned Rainbow photobooth created by London artists Walter and Zoniel and inspired by 1980s Xerox machines. Curious guests interacted with the machine by photographing themselves pressed against a wall of rainbow-coloured flatbed scanners to create a unique portrait that could, as per the age we are living in, be shared with all via social media.
The room also featured a MATCHESFASHION vending machine with Haas Brothers x L’Objet and Walter & Zoniel merchandise as well as a mini installation celebrating the unique collaboration between designer Craig Green (a visit to 5 Carlos Place revealed the designer’s specially made colourful tapestries) and artist Saelia Aparicio.
An installation view of the MATCHESFASHION booth at Frieze London
A series of talks placed humanity in the spotlight—apt for discussions of the times. These included designer Roksanda Ilnic and filmmaker and activist Liz Goldwyn in conversation; a talk about art and social change with Marc Quinn and Fatuma Musa Afrah and a discussion with artists Nikolai and Simon Haas of the Haas brothers and how their provocative work sits at the realms of fashion, art, music, and design—very much akin to MATCHESFASHION's own pedigree for artistic fusion.