An Art and Fashion collaborative exhibition, artist Paul Wysmyk and PK Fashion Collections, November 16th - 17th , at PK Fashion, Manulife Centre, Bay and Bloor.
Alongside building the PK Fashion brand, Dorothea Merritt has spent years collecting art. The PK Boutique plays host to works by Paul Wysmyk, ranging from 1992 - 2022.
acrylic on paper, 37 x 29" framed
acrylic on paper, 29 x 36"
acrylic on paper collage, 22 x 30" unframed
|Art and Fashion have always had a longstanding affair. So Dorothea, is the relationship between Art and Fashion important to you? |
"Yes. When we worked on the design of our boutique at the Manulife Centre, I wanted art to play a part in the space. That is the reason the boutique has the capacity to showcase art, has the wall space, seating and so on. The design of the furnishings - even the colour of the walls - is meant to evoke the Belle Époque, an 1890s apartment of the Left Bank.
In the past years, I have been able to use the store to collaborate on art-abstract paintings of acrylic in colours of the Collection, Paris watercolours, and "CIAO BELLA" - a large Pop Art work at the entrance - an "Andy Warhol goes to Italy!"
For this exhibition, we will have art pieces throughout the boutique that unusually juxtapose with our 2022 Fall/Winter Collections. It's been pleasing for me to share my passion for the arts with my customers."
acrylic on paper, 22 x 30"
Our Mosaic Wool Embroidered Scarf
|How did the idea of these art and fashion partnerships come about?|
"It started with our fashion buying trips to Paris and Milan - we always set aside a half day to take in an art exhibition, often at the Musee de la Mode. The Dior Exhibition at the Louvre really struck home the close connection between art and fashion, especially in the use of colours. Dior was originally an art gallery owner and it was only later, in the 1947 debut of his first collection, that he took to designing fashion. I suppose Paul Smith was an inspiration too because he often has art exhibitions in his store - with a discrete notice: "The art is for sale - please inquire of staff"!
|What's the current exhibition about?|
"In life, the artist moves from reality to abstract...but then sometimes back. So we've taken Paul Wysmyk's work, from 1992-2022, and there is a flow of "Back to Reality" to it. Then we've matched the art with the fashion from our Fall/Winter 2022 Collection. After three years of Covid, Fashion is now all about escapism, so we hope everyone will enjoy this combination of Reality and Escapism."
|Art is personal - as is fashion. What would you advise people starting their collection, or developing their style?|
"Invest in what you love and which resonates with you aesthetically. For example, there are two abstract paintings in the exhibition - which we own and are not for sale - I just love the colours.
Acrylic on paper, 29 X 37 in.,
Acrylic on paper, 20 x 26 in., framed
In fashion, I'd say if you don't have the budget, then search out one really good piece, and over time, your fashion statement and wardrobe will evolve. Buy less, but buy quality."
|Is the art in the exhibition for sale?|
"Some are from private collections and therefore not for sale, but yes, most of the art is for sale - so, as the saying goes - "Please inquire of staff." Of course, the fashion is for sale too!
With both art and fashion, I believe it's an investment, not just decoration."
|Are there any other artists you would like to collaborate with?|
"Yes, there's a graphic designer from Germany. His personal art, as you would expect, is geometric - coloured rectangles, polygons, and so on - but we've experimented with photographs of models, in curvy dresses and elaborate masks, with the geometric art as the background - it's strange, but it works!"
|What is the artist or designer whose work you admire most?|
"The Impressionists - with a call out to Berthe Morisot - one of just a few female artists of that period. Last September in Paris, we saw the principal collection of her art. Her paintings are introspective, dealing with women's societal conditions.
In the PK Boutique, we find Pop Art, watercolour scenes of Paris, and Italian travel posters work well because shopping for fashion is not a time for contemplation - better art that's quick and fun!
Designers? I suppose I just love European design, and not just from our time but back through history."
Self Portrait (1885),
by Berthe Morisot / Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris, France
|You may choose to book on Wednesday (November 16th) or Thursday (November 17th) anytime between 3:00 - 7:00 pm. We encourage our customers to join us on Thursday for a more personable experience! |