Curated by Aisling Farinella
Exhibtion Design and Fabrication abgc
We’ve been dedicated fans of Absolut Vodka’s special edition bottles for ages so it was great to be involved in an exhibition for the launch of one. This time the theme was fashion and the Absolut forsook the full enclosure of the previous years sequins, studs and mirror ball (Masquerade, Rock, Disco) for an elegant faceted bottle with a simple midnight blue silk garter.
The Absolut Mode launch consisted of a multi media exhibition and included both heritage and newly commissioned pieces, photography and Video work.
Irish Designers Eilis boyle, Helen Steele, Natalie B Coleman, Simone Rocha and Sorcha O’Raghallaigh were asked to design new work inspired by the brand. They join the likes of Versace, Tom Ford, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney who have all previously been commissioned by Absolut in an association that began back in ‘87.
We based our installation design on the fashion photographers cyclorama and floated curving paper backdrops between the Steel trusses of the Georgian Warehouse the exhibition was launched in and used steel cable to suspend the mannequins. Special photography gallery walls were also constructed with a series of plinths for the heritage items. Lastly we made two Absolut Mode inspired pieces ourselves; the first a secretly lit mirrored cube 300mm wide to display a single bottle which cantilevered out of the entrance wall and secondly we created a 1.2 x 2.4m wall hung, internally illuminated, light box of glowing bottle silhouettes and bottles all wrapped in midnight blue silk.
We were fascinated by the range of materials and techniques used by the Irish Fashion designers and we hope by association some their vision and bravery will wear off on us.
NATALIE COLEMAN A lambskin leather dress with laser-cut detail and Carrickmacross lace.
SIMONE ROCHA Lace dress with plastic trapped lace collar and crepe de chine skirt.
EILIS BOYLE Liquid silk organza dress, dip-dyed and stained in midnight blues and black. Steel and silk knitted straps.
SORCHA O’RAGHALLAIGH A chainmail crystal dress made from crystal, jump rings and chains.
HELEN STEELE A colourful multi-layered and twirling kaftan in crepe de chine with printed jersey leggings and a silk satin printed scarf.
The pieces include a pair of bespoke boots by Manolo Blahnik, a Hugo Boss suit, a Versace dress once worn by Naomi Campbell, a hat designed by Daniel Swarovski and a dress designed by Greek–Cypriot designer Erotokritos.
Launch Night Video by Albert Hooi
Lastly, try as we might neither of us managed to get into the Manolo Blahnik hooker boots, though AB in fairness did come close.