Like Scarlett Johansson’s emotionless alien character in Under the Skin, Melitta Baumeister’s silicone pieces resembling leather, cotton, and knit — “casted garments,” she calls them — imply an authenticity that their molecular sophistication can’t give them. While they are made in recognizable shapes — a tank top, a dress, a biker jacket — their rubbery tactility and harsh, clinical shades of black and white give them away. The notion of going to extremes to perfect what has already been perfected is at once mesmerizing and mind-boggling.
“I consider what is fake and what is real,” says the German-born, Parsons-taught, New York-based designer — who, at the upcoming spring 2015 shows, will present only her third collection since earning her MFA from Parsons. “And I consider the loss of tangibility and the importance of experience,” by which she means she’s playing to an online audience as much as an in-the-flesh audience. “I find advanced technology that is able to replace or simulate reality extremely interesting. What else could be in store in tomorrow’s world?”
Melitta Baumeister is available at Dover Street Market New York