For those entering Nordstrom's recently reopened flagship in Manhattan, the view will look familiar save for some freshly installed artworks and installations lining the walls of the airy department store. Together they make up part of a new exhibit dedicated to celebrating and exploring the history of contemporary Black style through the lens of fashion.
Styling: Black Expression, Rebellion, and Joy Through Fashion, currently on view until October 29, is organized into three themes: style as a creative expression, a rebellion against oppression and a source of joy. It was curated by Souleo and done in partnership with Long Gallery Harlem, a creative forum for under-represented artists.
Among the artworks exhibited are Margaret Rose Vendrye's painting of Billy Porter in his Tony's red carpet look and a traditional African mask from the Dan-Ngere tribe by Willie Cole made out of modern-day shoes. (A portion of art sale proceeds will benefit the Howard University Art Gallery and its student programs.)
"[The exhibition" is a sartorial escapade through the multifaceted representations of contemporary Black style and their cultural significance," read the program notes. "The exhibition celebrates the legacy of using personal style to channel self-expression, rebellion, and joy as inspired by movements such as the Harlem Renaissance. Thus, giving substance and expansion to the meaning behind making a 'fashion statement.'"
Free admission into Styling: Black Expression, Rebellion, and Joy Through Fashion is available now at Nordstrom NYC until October 29, 2020. Visit STYLINGBLK.com to learn more. The show is also available for online view on Artsy.