Porcelain manufacturer Nymphenburg has invited 16 fashion designers to "dress" a new edition of its Commedia Dell'Arte figurines, which were originally designed by Franz Anton Bustelli in 1760.
The Commedia Dell'Arte Couture Edition 2008, issued to celebrate Nymphenburg's 260th anniversary, includes collaborations with designers including Viktor & Rolf, Vivienne Westwood (top image) and Gustavo Lins. Above: Dottore by Gustavo Lins.
The figures - issued in a limited edition of 25 - premiered last month in Munich. Above: Julia by Christian Lacroix.
Above: Colombine by Viktor & Rolf
Here is some info from Nymphenburg:
To celebrate its 260th anniversary, Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg, under the direction of Dr. Jörg Richtsfeld, is launching a limited edition of the world-famous Commedia Dell'Arte figures produced by the rococo sculptor, Franz Anton Bustelli, in 1759/60. Sixteen internationally acclaimed fashion designers were invited to create "new clothes" as a new décor for their favourite figure in the Commedia Dell'Arte group.
Above: Capitano Spavento by Gareth Pugh.
The following fashion designers participated in the Couture Edition:
Adeline André, Damiano Biella (Escada), Igor Chapurin, Esteban Cortazar (Emanuel Ungaro), Maurizio Galante, Christian Lacroix, Gustavo Lins, Pascal Millet (Carven), Gareth Pugh, Ralph Rucci, Elie Saab, Dominique Sirop, Franck Sorbier, Naoki Takizawa, Viktor & Rolf, Vivienne Westwood.
The designs are to be presented in a limited edition of 25 figures for each designer.The 16 figures of the Commedia Dell'Arte, created in the 18th century, by Franz Anton Bustelli, succeeded in establishing the worldwide reputation of Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg.
The designs are to be presented in a limited edition of 25 figures for each designer.
The 16 figures of the Commedia Dell'Arte, created in the 18th century, by Franz Anton Bustelli, succeeded in establishing the worldwide reputation of Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg.
In his probably most artistic ensemble of figures, he presents eight pairs of characters from the Commedia Dell'Arte, an Italian improvisation comedy staged during the 16th century, which, with great sensitivity and elegance, he is able to juxtapose with each other through their postures, gestures and the painting of their robes.
Only the most important foibles and characteristics of the cast were defined in the Italian comedy – and Bustelli stages the roles assigned to them with flirtatious glances and poses.
The delicacy of the figures' depicted robes, physiognomies and expressions makes them unique. For the design, Bustelli let himself be inspired with great sensitivity by the fashion of the times.
And so it appears only natural to invite today's greats of fashion design to create "new clothes" especially for these figures which at the time constituted the creative highlight of their time.
With designs in their characteristic styles, the designers have realised their vision of a contemporary interpretation of Bustelli's figurines.
A collectors' book will be appearing in a limited edition to accompany the collection. The publisher and designer of this richly illustrated compendium is the photographer and artist Florian Böhm who works both in Munich and New York.
In more than 1000 photographs and a comprehensive essay by the art critic, Dr Ronald Jones, the publication dedicates itself to the cultural and aesthetic significance of the Commedia Dell'Arte and the 2008 Couture Edition.
Sign up for a daily roundup
of all our stories