I am currently curating an exhibition for TAPE Modern with “Maturity” as its theme. After seeing Julia and Ben’s presentation this season, I hope that they’ll contribute. For the exhibition, I am asking artists working in various mediums to contribute their personal definition of being a “grown-up.” Julia and Ben’s collection is now mine.
The Berlin-based design due’s bite-sized collection and polished presentation are admirable examples of cultured cool. The presentation opened with an older woman crouched on three raw wood rectangular plinths. She wore a slinky Martha Graham-style black dress, an oversized knit scarf and contemptuous expression. Her demeanor, weathered beauty and cool disdain created a legitimate feeling of avant-garde theatre or performance art. Even after she left the set
with a smile, she established the mood for the male and female models who emanating Berlin street legitimacy thanks to the gritty styling, including red-rimmed eyes, and artful clothes.
Juliaandben are best known for converting fabrics, patterns and forms associated with age-specific references into timeless embodiments of intelligent elegance. Dirty-hued, tie-dyed, sumptuous fabrics are the duo’s signature. They use the bathtub technique associated with adolescence rebellion and aging hippies’ nostalgia for a truly fresh form of city-chic. Their tie-dyed leggings and dresses look grungy but are gracefully cut and their sensual fabrics are
For their AW12 collection, Julia and Ben tie-dyed a floor-length column dress in subtle shades of black. Male and female models wore
their leggings layered under chunky black knit cardigan coats. A single slinky tie-dyed dress was barely visible under an enveloping black mass of heavy knit. An egg-shaped camel-coloured trench-coat that hung off the model like a poncho shawl. Shoes were also wrapped in strips of black or nude leather. Layering kept the collection realistic and maintained the narrative that we were all attending an art opening.
by Ana Finel Honigman