Ikea has come up with a savvy way to hype up its imminent Virgil Abloh collection even further, with an exhibition opening at London Fashion Week showing the Markerad range for the first time. Fitting Rooms ties into Abloh’s “fashion you can’t wear” slogan for the range, offering fans the chance to “try on” the pieces – which we can only assume is simply code for “touch”, “sit on” or “walk on” as it includes a chair, rug, cabinet, daybed and table. It will also feature Abloh’s Sculpture Frakta bag, which apparently will be hanging from marble statues, and a temporary tattoo station with time slots tracked on the Temporary clock
The range is intended as a set of statement pieces, Abloh explains. “It’s about elevating the anonymous, everyday icons that we use without noticing. When we put a doorstop on one of the legs of an ordinary chair we create something unexpected – an interruption.”
One of the rugs looks like a giant Ikea receipt, for example, while the Markerad cabinet is entirely transparent glass, intended as a “modern-day baroque Wunderkammer (Cabinet of Curiosities)” encouraging people to show off their objects as a display of their personality.
Henrik Most, the creative lead on the collection, says Abloh has “a fantastic ability to work with essential functions and basic materials and create something new. Each Markerad item is both a design object and a piece with high artistic value.”
As such, Fitting Rooms promises to be a high-end version of Ikea’s compact living spaces, presenting the objects in stylised, very Instagrammable rooms, before the range goes on sale in November.
Fitting Rooms by Ikea and Virgil Abloh opens 14-15 September 2019 at Shorts Gardens, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9AT.