The Man Who Rocked the Runway


For two days only, visitors to the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion will be treated to a pop-up exhibition on the designer Stephen Sprouse. Although modest in size, Stephen Sprouse: Man Who Rocked the Runway is the first exhibition to acknowledge Sprouse’s short yet revolutionary career. What makes this exhibition special is that, unlike in a museum, the bulk of the clothing will be up for sale.

I had the great opportunity to speak briefly to the curator, Elyce Tetorka. She told me that the clothes came from a few sources: Cherry Boutique, David Ownes, Patina, and the private collection of Elin at Unique Boutique. Each of these lenders will also be present at the MVCS. Due to the fact there this exhibition is actually taking place at a vintage clothing show, where spaces are often demarcated by fabric walls, Elyce decided to focus her attention solely on the clothing and accessories, bathing them in brightly colored light reflected off of a silver-white backdrop in homage "to Sprouse's first showroom on 57th Street that was painted silver."

To good measure, the clothes are simply fantastic. Her checklist includes a graffiti print hat with a sequin overlay, a day-glo camouflage blazer, and for those wanting something a little tamer, a herringbone-print jacket and skirt.

Elyce is passionate about her subject. When asked why she chose this designer to focus on, she responds that "Sprouse represents a turning point in fashion history when "downtown" became "uptown"." She says, "Much like Vivian Westwood was doing in London at Sex Boutique - so was Sprouse, except his style was more American - more New York. His legacy is still strong and can be felt today: Marc Jacobs launched his stylized leopard print for Louis Vuitton's Spring 2006 collection (originally designed in 2000 and never used). Sprouse's graffiti-style graphics are easily identifiable and replicated on everything from magazine advertisements and camouflage spray-painted sweatshirts to souvenir purses that read "Paris, France." He was the first designer to send men and women down the runway together, the first to use fluorescent colors, and even the textiles that he designed for Knoll Textiles are available today! For the purpose of the MVCS - Sprouse's clothes are highly collectable, expensive, and are appealing to a fiercely loyal group of collectors. The designs are bright, eye-catching, edgy and inspiring for people to view as they wait in line, as well as for designers who are seeking a little inspiration."

All clothing, with the exception of those from Elin Wilder at Unique Boutique, are for sale.

Cherry - 212.924.1410

Deco Etc. - 212.675.3326

Patina - 212.625.3375

Unique Boutique NYC - The Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show starts today Friday, February 2 (1:00 pm - 8:00 pm) and goes through Saturday, February 3 (10:00 am - 6:00 pm). The exhibit - Stephen Sprouse: Man Who Rocked the Runway - is up for the duration of the event.

Sarah Scaturro