Text: Alec Coiro
Photo & Video: Olimpia Dior
Olimpia’s photos from the Women’s History Museum show speak for themselves. We see the clothing both in detail and in context. But perhaps a few words are still in order. To begin with we love the name Women’s History Museum. The way it totally throws you off the scent of it being a fashion label is a perfect compliment to the fact that the designs are completely and refreshingly free of any whiff of pandering.
The label was founded by Amanda McGowan and Mattie Barringer who are unafraid to opt for fluidity over stability in every instance, be it in terms of gender; or the division between consumer, performer, and model; or traditional garment categories (is this object a belt or necklace?); or fashion show vs presentation vs gallery show. In many ways Women’s History Museum would seem to carry on the legacy of Susan Cianciolo were Cianciolo not fully carrying on that legacy herself at the moment, but we mention it because this is high praise coming from Ravelin.
The show is entitled OTMA’s Body, a reference to the Romanov sisters — Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia Nikolieva — and it consists of selections from the four Women’s History Museum collections. It feels like the sort of show that people go to and it changes them, changes their outlook a little; you take a pinch of young influential people add a dab of chain reaction, and voila: a couple years later the whole culture is transformed.