At the MAD, Rondenet and Yvrenogeau Are OWNing It
The duo behind cult Belgian fashion label OWN are showcasing 16 seasons worth of archives, with a twist: Clothes? What clothes?
In 2004, brothers Pierre and Pablo Lhoas designed the retail space for Brussels-based fashion label OWN. The brand no longer exists, but when the MAD chose to do a retrospective this year, founders Thierry Rondenet and Hervé Yvrenogeau called upon the architectural services of Lhoas & Lhoas once again.
The catch? Instead of designing the exhibition to display 16 seasons worth of archives in the museum, they’d be part of the exhibition.
“We wanted to cover different aspects of fashion, from photography to scenography, including accessories and graphics,” explained Rondenet and Yvrenogeau. Having done everything themselves from 1999 until 2007, it seemed like an organic move. “We felt that it was normal to evoke this fact through the exhibition and that it would be even more interesting to entrust it to others who have talent and legitimacy. Especially since we have always liked the idea of collectives, it is something that we have always insisted on.”
That motley collective is the basis of It’s My OWN: An Everyday Fashion Story, a sort-of retrospective now on display at the Brussels institution. “We have almost no archives anymore,” the duo said. “It’s a challenge to talk about a universe without being able to exhibit the clothes. But, we said, why not? It’s always fascinating to revisit what formed our path, in the same way as a journey through our vocabulary. However, since we have many documents from back in the day, it was possible to create images, to recount our story. But through other eyes. In order to give what has existed a second life. We wanted it to be reinterpreted by others and for it to be part of a contemporary scene.”
The exhibition thus includes some of the surviving pieces —from suits to biker jackets— cohabitating with reappropriations by the likes of photographer Nicolas Karakatsanis, florist Thierry Boutemy, choreographer Thomas Hauert and the Lhoas brothers themselves.
So, how do you tell a story when most of its protagonists are gone? Simple: You just OWN it.
It’s My OWN: An Everyday Fashion Story is on display at the MAD until June 17