Curatorial text

21 November 2009 – 31 January 2010

Steinunn Sigurðardóttir’s first clothing collection appeared on the scene in 2000. It was timeless and polished and placed feminine charm front and center. A scant decade later, these elements are still Steinunn’s main theme and the hallmark of her design. Color, choice of material, trim, cut, belting, and draping vary the theme and characterize the seasons; rooted in the natural world and craft traditions of Iceland, these variations accent the irresistible three-dimensional depth of Steinunn’s design.
This exhibition offers an overview of the career of Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, clothing designer. The mannequins in mid-gallery are dressed in runway samples, which seldom go into production. On the west wall are original fashion photographs by one of the world’s foremost photographers, Mary Ellen Mark. The video on the east wall features clips of Steinunn’s fashion shows from around the world, alongside a display of the material elements that go into her design. Lastly, the south wall offers insight into the creative encounter between this designer and the natural world of Iceland.

Steinunn has had a distinguished career in fashion design. She has worked for the world’s foremost designers – Ralph Lauren 1987-1988, Calvin Klein 1989-1995, Gucci 1995-2000 – and as a head designer at La Perla from 2000-2003.
Steinunn’s designs have been shown on runways and at art and design museums worldwide; her garments now reside in many permanent collections. Steinunn has worked on a variety of projects to support the promotion of Iceland abroad and has curated design exhibitions, taught, and lectured.

Steinunn Sigurðardóttir is the 2009 Reykjavík Artist of the Year. In 2008 she became the first designer to win the Swedish Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize, one of the highest awards a designer can achieve. She won the Ginen 2007 award for Nordic design, was nominated for the 2006 Icelandic Visual Arts Award, and received the DV Culture Prize for design in 2003. In 2007 she was honored with the Icelandic Knightly Order of the Falcon.

Soffía Karlsdóttir, Curator

Exhibition Design: Páll Hjaltason
Stylist: Kristín Björgvinsdóttir
Hats: STEiNUNN, Kristín Björgvinsdóttir, Ozden Dora
Enclosure design: Auður Jónsdóttir, Kristinn Þorsteinsson
Photography (west wall): Mary Ellen Mark
Furniture: Icelandic design on loan from the Museum of Design and Applied Art

Sponsored by: Icelandair
                      Rio Tinto Alcan



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