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The Gallery – GBA’s Extended Family with Camella Ehlke

  • 8:00 am - 11:59 pm | Monday February 06, 2023
  • 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.

 

About

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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