Bal Harbour Shops Celebrates 50 Years with Fashion Project

Painters will tell you art hangs on walls. Trendsetters will tell you art hangs in their closets. There may be no right answer, but Fashion Project at Bal Harbour Shops is an experimental exhibit that’s changing the way we think. Come to the mall for clothing and leave with culture? Sounds like a solid plan.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Bal Harbour Shops collaborated with London-based fashion curator Judith Clark to create six consecutive exhibits. Located on the third floor of the center, the museum space will be renovated with a new vision every few months until January 2016.

First up: The Exhibition, featuring statements from the last century and everything from a 1913 Ballets Russes costume to Hussein Chalayan’s futuristic remote-control dress.

“I hope the exhibition evokes curiosity and a double feeling — one-of-a-kind of familiarity with a slightly clinched version of a museum show, and then a sense of slight unease that this is not quite telling the same story,” Clark says.

While Fashion Project is Clark’s first U.S. debut, she’s worked on more than 40 displays around the world, including the Simone Handbag Museum in Seoul and the chic Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. Yep — she’s kind of a big deal.

Clark may teach fashion and museology at University of the Arts London, but her degree in architecture lends a hand to her creative process. “Architects sketch bodies into projects to give them meaning and scale — here we have two ‘bodies,’ that of the mannequin and the visitor,” she says.

With a love for Prada bags and Miami beaches, Clark is a woman after our own heart. “Miami is exotic to me; I live in London. It means that this is placing ideas in an entirely new context,” she says.

The Fashion Project is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. To see the full schedule visit balharbourshops.com/fashionproject.

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