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The Fashion Forward Artworks You Missed At Art Basel
Did anyone say airbag couture?
Entertainment 20 Jun 2019

Art Basel isn’t exactly a hotspot of edgy art. It’s a money-driven, art fair in Switzerland. But could this year be different? Perhaps. Tapping into the Gram, there are two fashion forward pieces that shook up the fair, which, this year, showed 290 art galleries and 4,000 artists.

Our favorite fashion piece was the airbag couture (literally couture dresses made from car airbags) created by the artist Alicia Framis (going through her website, we see an evident influence from Vanessa Beecroft). Her work, the “LifeDress” series, showed with Galería Juana de Aizpuru, where a total of nine dresses made out of airbags have been taken from Japanese cars.

20190624_airbag couture1_theartgorgeous

20190624_airbag couture2_theartgorgeous

There is function to this fashion, however, as they’re meant for women to wear, and as soon as a woman experiences harassment of any kind, she can activate the airbag dress to expand. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Exactly.

We also loved this faux low art secondhand shop that was installed at the art fair, too. Because if you ever wanted to learn about the history of the store mannequin, then look no further. This installation is in fact, much more than just a window display. The artist Lucy McKenzie and designer Beca Lipscombe, work together under the moniker Atelier E.B., and even have an online shop, but at Basel, they installed a pop-up storefront that looks a lot like a secondhand clothing store from the 1990s.


It’s been called a cult label that’s “equal parts local museum display, contemporary artshow, and functional salesroom.” For their online store, they sell sweatshirts bearing their logo, photo prints of women lounging near sphinx sculptures and badges of femme figures, as well as products that tie into fashion history, architecture and traveling around Europe. Sign us up.


Text by Nadja Sayej

Images via artbasel.com, twitter

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