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ECKHAUS LATTA Dazed Spring issue group shot
All clothes and accessories by Eckhaus Latta. Dazed Spring 2015 issuePhotography Rachel Chandler, styling Tom Guinness

Five reasons to go see Eckhaus Latta’s extremely meta exhibition

Possessed is now open at the Whitney – complete with faux campaign images and real store CCTV footage

On Friday, a new immersive exhibition opened at the Whitney, highlighting the work and exploring the world of New York-based brand Eckhaus Latta. Since launching the label in 2011, best friends Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta have made a name for themselves with their experimental, gender neutral, textural designs. For their very first solo museum exhibition, dubbed Eckhaus Latta: Possessed, the duo tapped all of their friends to help them create the conceptual retail location of all of our dreams. Here are five reasons to check it out.

IT’S LIKE A CONCEPTUAL SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

For the exhibition, the designers created a three-part installation-turned-makeshift retail store that explores the layers of consumption, desire, and collaboration. Located in the lobby of New York’s Whitney Museum, the show is filled with Eckhaus Latta designs that guests can actually touch and try on. In the back of the space, viewers get a glimpse behind the scenes of the retail experience through a series of screens depicting live-streamed surveillance footage of the guests as they shop as well as IRL shoppers in their LA store.

IT’S EXTREMELY COLLABORATIVE

Instead of buying a bunch of clothing racks and plastic hangers, Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta collaborated with a number of artists to create the entire space, making its functionality a key part of the show. To decorate the “store”, the duo tapped photographer Charlotte Wales, art director Eric Wrenn, stylist Avena Gallagher, hairstylist Shingo and makeup artist Kanako Takase, to shoot models like Gemma Ward and Michael Bailey Gates in a series of images mimicking commercial fashion advertising.

YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO TRY THINGS ON

Throughout the show, racks were filled with jeans and tye-dyed sweaters, while sculptural knits hung on the walls. Though the garments were made exclusively for the exhibition, the design duo included many of the Eckhaus Latta’s signature elements, like chunky knitwear and sheer dresses. The brand also made their foray into accessories, showing sunglasses, jewellery and socks, as well. But instead of using mannequins, the designers encouraged viewers to interact with each garment, highlighting the intimate experience of looking for and trying on clothes. 

YOU CAN ACTUALLY BUY STUFF

Of course, the best part of any shopping experience, even one in a conceptual art piece masquerading as a pop-up shop, is getting to spend money. All of the designs at the Eckhaus Latta: Possessed exhibition are actually for sale. In doing so, the designers explore the many aspects of consumerism within the fashion industry and the complex relationship they have with the fashion world. As a brand with both a cult and commercial following, Eckhaus Latta is able to view the industry through a very specific lens. Possessed is a look into that – and way for them to celebrate the industry, while still remaining self-aware.   

THE SOUNDTRACK WAS SPECIALLY CURATED 

The designers curated their own playlist, featuring artists like Stevie Nicks and Cat Power, to play throughout the show. If you’re not in New York, you can still experience the vibe by listening to it here.

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed is open at the Whitney Museum of American Art and runs until October 8, 2018