The Gallery – GBA’s Extended Family with Camella Ehlke
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- Gallery | Ace Hotel Brooklyn
The table is the heart of the home. Triple Five founder and streetwear designer Camella Ehlke presents a new series of marvelously outfitted chairs exploring the intricacies of friendship and love. Ehlke reworks and recycles overstock fabrics, dressing four pairs of chairs in vibrant, unique outfits.
Camella’s second GBA collection Soulmates embody whimsy, humor, and romance; her chair duos reference friendship, sisterhood, and lovers. Couples interconnect via plush hands-holding, chain links rendered from stuffed fabric, or ribbons wrapped in a tight embrace. They all gather at a table, conversing in a secret language of upholstery and urbanity. Additionally, Camella expands her love of quilting in a wall work representing the sun and moon — a pair of celestial bodies overseeing the gathering.
In 2019, Camella Ehlke and Virgil Abloh began a conversation stemming from his respect for her pioneering streetwear label Triple Five Soul, which sketched out one of the early blueprints for fusing art, fashion, and design. Though Ehlke exited Triple Five Soul in 2004, she continues to explore methods of repurposing textiles, mixing and matching, fraying and pleating — which Abloh coined “the crash of fabrics.” The Off-White™ designer generously shipped surplus and sample yardage from his Milan fabric house to Camella, kickstarting her artistic focus on bespoke furniture fits.
Recycling fabrics has been part of Camella’s DNA since she opened her first store on Ludlow Street in 1989. Once the haven of garment manufacturing, the LES boasted a community of jobbers who sold local fashion designers’ leftover materials. Scouring these shops, she collected a wide assortment of fabrics, incorporating them into Triple Five Soul jackets. At the time, Ehlke surmised that it was common sense to reuse beautiful and high quality overstock. Fast forward to 2023, and the fashion industry now embraces her prescient practice of upcycling.
Ehlke’s love of collaboration motivated her to call upon other renowned labels who are building community and raising their voices for environmental awareness. For Soulmates, she has combined fabrics and garments donated by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Off-White™, Pleasures, Smalls Studio, and Real Real.
Though Camella Ehlke exited her company in 2004, she continues to explore ways to repurpose textiles, mixing and matching, fraying and pleating — which Abloh coined “the crash of fabrics.” The Off-White™ designer generously shipped his surplus and sample yardage from his Milan fabric house and kickstarted Ehlke’s artistic practice of one-of-a-kind outfits for chairs.
Around the corner and down Bond St., our neighbors Guilty By Association are building a digital bridge to empower the creative unseen, redistribute wealth and reengineer an antiquated system — art. This season, we are partnering with GBA for a trio of solo exhibitions featuring a selection of their artist kin. We’re calling it “Extended Family.”
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