Lars Wallin: Fashion Stories
The spectacular fashion designer and creative genius, Lars Wallin, showcased his exhibition in Stockholm, displaying nearly 200 of his most impressive dresses. The Swedish born designer celebrated his 25 years in the industry by exhibiting his masterpieces from designs created as costumes for the Royal Opera, stage performances for illustrious singers, to wedding dresses and catwalk pieces. For Lars, many of his works are inspired by his clients and how he feels their personalities reflect the clothes he will create for them. His challenge is to uncover an expression of their personality as “every piece of clothing bears an energy, something entirely personal.”
The exhibition was presented in the outstanding Artipelag building, on an island in Stockholm’s archipelago, designed by architect Johan Nyrén, 2012. Approaching its location was somewhat like approaching a film set, with colossal glass windows dominating its entrance. A jewel hidden amongst snow fallen forests, it would be wrong to say it didn’t vaguely resemble a James Bond villain’s hideaway. With spectacular views causing a dream like atmosphere, there is a total 360º view of pure beauty.
Most impressive was the diversity of Wallin’s designs with his presentation of couture wedding dresses; intricate silks, satins, lace and fur, in perfect harmony with surrounding floor to ceiling glass walls. Exquisite sketches and cotton toiles of his designs adorned the walls, with the start to finish process of many creations. Each of his designs holds an element of surprise and are brought to life, creating an interesting dichotomy between sketch and dress.
The first couture exhibit that stole all attention was a structure resembling a theatre set – an elevated platform with gothic chandeliers and open doors invited you into the extravaganza. Gatsby-esq mannequins were dressed in black jewelled dresses with flowing ruffles and bold feathers for headpieces. Pink and red spotlights swept up and down instantly reflecting the hand-sewn crystals.
Further on was a 1992 transparent plastic raincoat with Swarovski crystal buttons. The contrasting textures of plastic and crystal was phenomenal, and certainly on trend. Wallin has even kept this one for himself. This piece was made exclusively for the hair stylist Björn Axén’s show.
A neon bodysuit, an innovative yet comical cabaret dress printed with dollar signs, and an orange mermaid tale dress created for Swedish singer Lena Philipsson were all under Wallin’s spectacular costume section; his shimmering metallic robe being the ultimate creation.
Each design telling its own story, this exhibition takes you on a riveting journey. For Wallin, “every part bears memories and stories, (his creations forming) an intimate synergy between silk and skin.” He is a pure genius with a vast range of designs and such diversity in his work. Wallin’s aesthetic is breathtaking and astounding.