Parachute: Subversive Fashion of the ‘80s - McCord Museum

Fashion Exhibition

From November 19, 2021, to April 24, 2022

Parachute: Subversive Fashion of the ‘80s

Founded in Montreal in 1977 by designer Nicola Pelly and architect Harry Parnass, the Parachute brand quickly became an international fashion phenomenon with a celebrity clientele that included Madonna, Duran Duran and Peter Gabriel.

  • Bobby Sheehan, <i>Promotional photograph of John David Agosto, Amanda Coulson, Musa Jackson and unknown model in Queens, New York</i>, 1983. Lent by Nicola Pelly. © Bobby Sheehan
  • Mlle Andrée Gagné, <i>Models in early designs, photographed for Forces magazine</i>, about 1980. Lent by Nicola Pelly. © Mlle Andrée Gagné
  • Michael Flomen, <i>Promotional postcard of Maia McLean</i>, 1981, McCord Museum. Gift of Nicola Pelly. © Michael Flomen
  • Rodolf Noël, <i>Promotional photograph of Morganne Picard and unknown models in Resort 1981 collection</i>, 1981. Lent by Nicola Pelly. © Rodolf Noël
  • Jean-Claude Lussier, <i>Photographs from a fashion show at Montreal’s Limelight nightclub</i>, March 5, 1979, 1979. Lent by Nicola Pelly. © Jean-Claude Lussier
  • Albert Sanchez, <i>Models wearing the Spring-Summer 1985 collection at the 456 North Camden Drive store</i>, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, 1985. Lent by Nicola Pelly. © Albert Sanchez
  • Karin Knoblich, <i>Photographs of the 121 Wooster Street store</i>, SoHo, New York, early 1980s. Lent by Nicola Pelly. © Karin Knoblich
  • Anthony Wolfe, <i>Nicola Pelly and Harry Parnass in the Cours Mont Royal store</i>, Montreal, about 1988. Lent by Nicola Pelly. © Anthony Wolfe

This exhibition will explore Parachute’s androgynous and provocative clothing, and the company’s transformation from its subcultural New Wave beginnings, to a designer brand with concept stores in cities including Montreal, New York and Los Angeles. Parachute translated the cultural anxieties of the early beginnings of the digital age into avant-garde clothing that aspired to change people’s perspectives and shake up the status quo.

Not to be missed!

Exhibition presented by ELLE Québec
Major Partner
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