Duty-Free Radical: Tigran Avetisyan Spring 2015

Tigran Avetisyan, the standout of the VFiles group show, had fun with one of fashion’s cheapest conceits: duty-free shopping and the mindless gluttony it causes.

The recent Central Saint Martins graduate (on a scholarship from LVMH), who returned to his native Russia to start his mostly men’s label, bought five bottles of different fragrances — i.e. Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana — from duty-free shops in airports. He mixed all the juices (just imagine the rank) inside one gangly franken-bottle that he fused together from all five. He then crafted paper-thin clothes printed with a crinkle pattern, or bearing the words Duty Free all over, to resemble cellophane packaging.

The effect was reminiscent of Raf Simons’ collaborations with artists and appropriation of artistic elements, but went deeper in concept, exposing the ugly commercialism of an ever-expanding global market and not-actually-free free enterprise.

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