NYC///FASHIONISTA///STEPHEN SPROUSE LIVES ON AT DEITCH PROJECTS (WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM LOUIS VUITTON)

January 10, 2009  |  art, Fashion, News, NYC, Openings

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Undoubtedly, a legion of young hipsters, streetwear fashionistas, and luxury goods junkies would be left scratching their heads in bewilderment if pressed to elaborate on the legacy of STEPHEN SPROUSE. Luckily, the legendary downtown art shrine known as DEITCH PROJECTS, in collaboration with Parisian luxury brand LOUIS VUITTON has provided an immersive introduction to the late artist's indelible legacy in the form of their epic "Rock on Mars" retrospective exhibition that opened its doors to a cadre of NYC's illuminati last nite. A pioneering designer who cut his teeth in the fertile late '70s & early '80s downtown scene (his earliest client was downstairs neighbor Debbie Harry), Sprouse daringly infused day-glo graphic elements of crucial counterculture scenes like graffiti, punk, and hippies into an array of groundbreaking and always rock-centric fashion statements over the course of his roughly 20 year career. Forever plagued by soaring highs and crushing financial lows, the designer was rescued from the brink of obscurity by Marc Jacobs when the designer tapped him to create a new line of instantly sold-out designs for Louis Vuitton in 2001, effectively revitalizing his name in the process. Unfortunately, lung cancer would claim the Sprouse's life in 2004 exactly at the precipice of a major comeback that would never be. Funded by Louis Vuitton as a grand homage to the oft-underappreciated visionary, the Deitch exhibition collected previously unshown fine artworks originally created by Sprouse for an unrealized show called "Rock on Mars," with vintage fashion drawings and iconic clothing designs to provide the most comprehensive overview of the artist's prodigious oeuvre ever assembled. Opening to the public this weekend, the show is the first must-see event of the New Year, shining a much-needed light on an otherwise gloomy art scene still coping with the "morning after" of 2008’s crippling economic collapse. HAVE A LOOK:

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Self-portrait, 1980s...

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Debbie Harry still walks the walk. Below: Vintage Polaroids of Harry sporting Sprouse's earliest designs...

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Man-in-tights Marc Jacobs...

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Jacobs with goth lolita Anna Sui...

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Supertouch homie Waris goes for the gold...

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Sprouse's mother Joanne...

THE AFTERPARTY, BOWERY BALLROOM:
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Debbie gives Freddie Mercury & Stephen Tyler a run for the money in the jumpsuit dept...

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100% MILF...

Additional photos by WWD

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