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When Is a Store Not a Store?

(Image by Richard Hartog / LAT)

And when is a skirt more than a skirt? When does an architect begin to resemble a curator? Ponder those tautological quandaries while browsing at the Rem Koolhaas store in Beverly Hills that now fancies itself a gallery. Conceived by Koolhaas' OMA, an exhibit of 100 of the designer's skirts over the last 20 years or so is now on display at the store. But don't think this is just an exhibit of very pretty, very expensive skirts. There is deeper meaning, yo.

"Waist Down" also makes viewers consider how the body below the waist is a zone of political, social and artistic conflict. The precipitous ups and downs of hemlines over the 18 years of fashion presented here illustrate the skirt's role as a social barometer. As such an object of femininity, the skirt seduces, flirts and labels. Each of those qualities is cleverly illustrated, sometimes with an adapted windshield wiper.What a windshield wiper has to do with skirts, we're not really sure. But we're excited to see the Prada store fulfill its obvious destiny, not as a gallery, but as an awesome space for parties. If only we could have been there to see Miuccia and Courtney Love huddling in the corner at the opening. Sigh.
· Skirting the Border Between Art, Fashion [LA Times]