Lonely Planet Writer

New York City’s The Surrey hotel launches “Fashioning Art” just in time for Fashion Week

At the end of every summer New York Fashion Week begins, showcasing fresh collections of inspired, imaginative styles that often blur the lines between clothing and art. This year, The Surrey hotel joins in the festivities with the aptly-timed launch of “Fashioning Art.”

The Kate Moss tapestry by Chuck Close.
The Kate Moss tapestry by Chuck Close. Image by The Surrey

On 8 September, the free art exhibition opens to the public (from 10am to 9pm daily) and will feature works both from the Surrey’s permanent collection as well as twenty additional temporary pieces, all exploring the common theme of fashion.

Coco Chanel by Desire Obtain Cherish
Coco Chanel by Desire Obtain Cherish Image by The Surrey

Natasha Schlesinger, founder of ArtMuse and The Surrey’s own art expert, explains to Lonely Planet why the subject was appealing when conceiving and curating the show. “The idea for Fashioning Art exhibit was born out of The Surrey’s own two permanent collection pieces: the Kate Moss tapestry by Chuck Close and the Claes Oldenburg sneaker shoelace drawing. Both works reflect the artists’ awareness of the fashion world and fashion elements that have impacted our culture.” Schlesinger aims to “look at the way artists reflect upon, embrace, critique and glamorise fashion in all its aspects.” Other works include a portrait of Coco Chanel by the American pop sculptor Desire Obtain Cherish, meticulously crafted from 8,000 pills, an iconic black and white portrait of model Naomi Campbell by the late fashion photographer Herb Ritts, and sculptor Liao Yibai’s stainless steel rendering of a fake Fendi purse, a “Pendi.”

Portrait of Naomi Campbell by Herb Ritts
Portrait of Naomi Campbell by Herb Ritts Image by The Surrey

The Upper East Side boutique hotel also seems like a natural fit for an art exhibit. Schlesinger notes the hotel is “physically located amongst the world’s most important museums such as the Met, the Met Breuer, and the Guggenheim museum, so its relationship to the art is an extension of its physical proximity to some of the world’s most significant art.” While the the two begin the same day, “a perfect opportunity to juxtapose art and fashion side by side” says Schlesinger, The Surrey’s “Fashioning Art” will last well beyond New York Fashion Week, closing on 15 January, 2017.