The main room of Byronesque Offline featuring Vivienne Westwood, Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Galliano and more
The end of the hallway on the third floor of the abandoned Post Office
In 5 years of frequenting the magnificent landmark that spans 2 city blocks between 31st and 33rd streets, I had never ventured past the vast lobby of the Post Office. Trekking through the snow Saturday morning, the instructions for Byronesque Offline led me up three flights of stairs to a virtually vacant third floor. A stale, musty smell, barren offices and a faint reddish glow illuminating the hallway are mildly reminiscent of a haunted asylum; the neat rows of partially clothed mannequins in the main exhibit space clearly acquiesce.
Jean-Paul Gaultier top with hands scarf and red fingernails from his S/S 1983 "Dada" Collection
Bordering the main space, two rooms of video loop interviews and career highlights featuring designers and fashion icons the likes of George Pejkoski (designer for MMM) and Diane Pernet (celebrated fashion journalist). Across the way, a piece from John Galliano's Les Incroyables graduation collection hangs on a blackened wall (not for sale, of course). Within the main "cage," guests can admire rare pieces by Jean Paul Gautier, Commes des Garçons, JohnGalliano, Vivienne Westwood, etc.--all aged 20 years or more. It's a banner year for punk/alternative style and this display certainly keeps the ball rolling.
Main exhibition space
For me, the most interesting part of the whole experience was being able to walk down the eerie halls and up the many layers that comprise the historic building. The antiquated hardware, vault doors and barred cages are really quite creepy, but lend to the rebel-style aesthetic. At a point when the idea of punk may almost seem overdone, I must say… between the MET, the Brooklyn Museum and now Byronesque, each exhibit has been engaging and well-done in its own right.
View from the back
Neat rows of mannequins, partially clothed in rare designer vintage-punk styles
A coat from John Galliano's Les Incroyables graduation collection
Studded Moschino black leather jacket
Unique tags for each piece