The Big Picture

From the New York Times Style section:

In a former factory space in the city’s booming 798 arts district, 50 works specially commissioned for the exhibition commingle with the original couture gowns by Dior and John Galliano (creative director since 1997) that inspired them. The slick, fun-house setting was designed by Alexandre de Betak, who has for many years been responsible for the production of Galliano’s phantasmagorical runway shows. Highlights include Li Songsong’s 10-foot-tall Lady Dior handbag constructed from neon rods; Xu Zhongmin’s strobe-lighted mechanical runway; and Zhang Huan’s portrait of Dior made from incense ashes collected from thousands of Buddhist temples. A series of curtains strung with mother-of-pearl beads (an idea that goes back to the Tang dynasty) by the formerly exiled artist Huang Rui serve as both a time line, emphasizing quite literally the weight of history, and a gateway to the exhibition.

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