Jeff Koons inspires Moncler Palm Angels collection
Last month, Jeff Koons’ ‘Rabbit’ – a three foot tall stainless steel sculpture resembling a kid’s inflatable balloon – became the most expensive artwork by a living artist, sold at a Christie’s auction for $91.1 million. Koons’ status as a boundary-pushing art world provocateur has creative parallels with the current aesthetic output of Moncler, who have swapped traditional seasonal collections for monthly drops, and subverted the classical outerwear status of its label with Moncler Genius, a project which asks designers to rethink its signature down-filled jackets.
Koons’ mirror surfaced sculptures were of particular inspiration to Francesco Ragazzi, whose 8 Moncler Palm Angels collection and accompanying presentation took inspiration from a vandalised image of one of the American artist’s exhibitions. Instead of designing his collection first, interestingly Ragazzi – who launched Palm Angels in 2014, and began his career as an intern at Moncler – conceived its accompanying A/W 2019 Milan Fashion Week presentation beforehand. ‘I worked backwards’, he explains of the event which was imagined as traditionally clean exhibition space, before its walls were sprayed with multicoloured paint. ‘I wanted to vandalise the purity of an art gallery. In the same way, I’ve vandalised the purity of Moncler.’
Ragazzi worked with artist and choreographer Willi Dorner – whose urban artworks incorporate the human form – on a series of exhibition photographs, featuring standing, diving and suspended bodies interacting with stark Milanese architecture, wearing jewel-coloured metallic ski suits. Their sky blue, lilac and emerald tones nod to the mirrored sheen of Koons’ cartoonish and balloon animal sculptures. ‘The pieces are made from laminated nylon,’ he explains. ‘I’ve never seen a metallic jacket like that before.’
8 Moncler Palm Angels ‘Art Breaking’ collection launches this week, and the release will see a series of global art showcases, from London to New York, including a roster of vandalised store fronts, tagged with bold red ‘Palm Angels’ graffiti. ‘Coming back to Moncler is an amazing feeling,’ Ragazzi says. ‘As an intern I used to dream about what I could achieve at the brand. Now I can actually do it.’ §