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Centre for Style / Melbourne

Archetypes of the white cube and the red-carpet dress alike provide Centre for Style with conceptual tools for re-creating our notions of taste. The curatorial entity, directed by Matthew Linde, habitually uses punk methodologies to critique high-end branding tactics in the businesses of art and fashion.

Centre for Style was founded by Linde as a fashion retail space in a basement in the heart of Melbourne’s inner city. Continuing as an online marketplace for alternative labels, Linde has since expanded the practice, curating a diverse and prolific repertoire of exhibitions and editorial projects that use fashion in a curatorial collage. As Linde explains, “Fashion opens up a performative space — there is a liberty to play with ideas of commodity and humor, styling and scenography, beauty and craft.”

Recent local and international exhibitions have placed fashion designers like H.B. Peace, D&K and Bless alongside artists Anna-Sophie Berger, Amy Yao, Ida Ekblad, K8 Hardy and Nicolas Ceccaldi, among others, in the ever-expanding Centre for Style community.

Despite its corporate name, Centre for Style seeks to disrupt conventions of taste by staging exhibitions in rogue locales. This year, Linde arranged an exhibition in the back of a hired van parked outside Sydney’s “Spring 1883” art fair. Tacked on to the expo, the lo-fi approach furthered an ongoing interrogation and reconfiguration of the conventions of the art economy.

In a string of recent American shows last summer, the “CfS USA Tour,” Linde road-tripped Centre for Style across the country from New York to Los Angeles with an exhibition and performance schedule that presented works in Airbnb spaces and independent galleries. Adding to this, last month the exhibition “Cabin Fever Creature” was held in a DIY-built pine cabin in the colloquial setting of Linde’s backyard in Melbourne. In this show, works by artists Trevor Shimizu, David Douard, Matt Hinkley and others were placed haphazardly in the space under blinding floodlights.

Continuing its path in the field of art and fashion, Centre for Style has an upcoming book with publishing entity 3-ply, will participate in Paramount Ranch in Los Angeles, and will be collaborating with Shoot the Lobster in New York early next year.

by Laura Gardner