Body Unbound

A dress by Rudi Gernreich in the IMA's "Body Unbound" exhibition.



Indianapolis Museum of Art



features innovative designs from a block-buster cast of contemporary and

avant-garde fashion designers. These artists and their designs thwart traditional

notions of clothing as functional, and instead elevate the body to canvas and

fashion to art. Upon entering the exhibit, the viewer is immediately

reminded of the juxtaposition between fashion and function by Rudi Gernreich's

notorious "monokini" – the first topless swimsuit. Full

coverage on the bottom is suspended by two halter straps rising through the

cleavage of the bared chest. Famous for his "futuristic" and

"controversial" designs, Gernreich's avocado dress with orange trim

from 1961 is soft and skimpy with a high rounded neck and large geometric holes

on either side of the torso. Also on display, several pieces from the

French bad-boy of fashion, Franco Moschino. Upon first glance, Moschino's

pale green wool suit appears to be in the style of a classic Chanel suit with

slim skirt and braided trim. After a closer look, the viewer

realizes the double "cc " buttons are missing and instead, cowbells

hang in their place – irreverently poking fun at the upscale designer.

Gianni Versace's cat suit from 1991 features body as art. A skintight cat

suit adorned with bold and graphic screen prints of Marilyn Monroe and James

Dean unmercifully pay homage to Andy Warhol's pop art style. Other

designers on display include Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, and Thierry Mugler.

Through January 30, 2011.