Born in Amsterdam, Ronaldus Shamask moved to London at the age of twenty-one where he began painting as well as illustrating fashion for the London Times and Observer.
In 1968, Mr. Shamask visted the United States on an invitation from the multi-media artists' organization called The Company of Man, based in Buffalo, New York. Mr. Shamask remained with the company for three years, designing sets and costumes for ballet and theatre, including the production of "The Lightening Conductor" set to the original score by Thomas Lukas Foss that was presented at the Albright Knox Art Museum.
In 1978, Mr. Shamask opened his design studio-retail store on Madison Avenue, New York City and exhibited his first women's couture collection. The critical acclaim for his work was extraordinary. "Intimate Architecture", "Architectural Clothing", "The Architect of Style" were all phrases coined to describe the designer and his clothing. This combined with generous coverage in WWD, Vogue, People Magazine, Life, New York Times, and other major publications, both in and out of the fashion industry, led to Mr. Shamask's receiving the prestigious Coty Fashion Award in 1981, scarcely two years after his first showing.
In the fall of 1985, Mr. Shamask presented his first menswear collection. Again, within two years, Mr. Shamask was voted Outstanding Designer by the Council of Fashion Designs of America.
In 1996, Mr. Shamask launched his own company SHAMASK. His women's collection is sold at department and specialty stores nationwide, i.e. Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Takashimaya and Stanley Korshak.
- Woolmark Award, (Men's wear), 1989
- Confederation Internationale du Lin Fil d'Or Award, (Men's & Women's wear), 1989, 1987, & 1985
- Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Award, (Women's Wear), 1987
- American Fashion Critics Coty Award, (Women's wear), 1981
- Goddess. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York. 2003
- Cubism and Fashion. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York. 1999
- Art and Fashion. The Guggenheim Museum. New York (In collaboration with the artist Arman). 1997
- Japonism in Fashion. Kyoto Fashion Institute. Tokyo. 1996
- Bare Witness. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York. 1996
- Reflect Id. Tenri Gallery. New York. 1994
- Infra Apparel. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York. 1989
- Intimate Architecture: Contemporary Clothing Design. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge Mass. 1982
- Collaborations with Mikhali Baryshnikov: "The Good Army" (World Premier, Tokyo), 1995
Collaborations with Lucinda Childs:
- for The Bavarian National Ballet of the Munich Opera House (World Premier, Munich), 1994
- "Impromptu" (World Premier, Cannes), 1993
- with Robert Mapplethorpe in the ballet "Portaits in Reflection", (World Premier, New York), 1986
- with Frank Ghery in the ballet "Available Light", which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave festival, 1983
BOOKS on Shamask
- Millbank, Caroline Rennolds, New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style, New York 1989
- Diaminstein, Barbaralee, Fashion: The Inside Story, New York 1985
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Intimate Architecture: Contemporary Clothing Design (exhibition catalogue), Cambridge, Mass 1982
ARTICLES by Shamask:
- "Commentary", in Details (New York), 1989
- Shamask, Ronaldus from "Contemporary Fashions" By Richard Martin
- A Cut Above. By Julie Bain
- Ronaldus Shamask: Award winning designer and minimalist fashion icon returns to Seventh Avenue
- Limnander, Armand "Coming Out Twice: Ronaldus Shamask!", in Dutch (France) Issue #21 July 1999
- Spindler, Amy, "The Cut of One Seam Coiling", in the New York Times Fashion, 12 August 1997
- Fenichell, Stephen, "The Look of the Nineties: Four Designs Lead the Way", in Connoisseur (New York) March 1991
- Boucher, Vincent, "The Two Mr. Shamasks", in Seven Days (New York), 7 March 1990
- "The Word to Men: Hang Looser" in People Weekly (Chicago), Spring 1990
- Chua, Lawrence, :Ronaldus Shamask Enjoying a Sense of Pleasure", in Woman's Wear Daily: Best of New York, (New York) March 1989
- Boehlert, Bart, "Who's That Shamasked Man?" in New York February 1988
- Parola, Robert, "Cultural Influences", in the Daily News Record (New York), 3 October 1988
- Parola, Robert, "The Anatomy of Design", in the Daily News Record (New York) 17 October 1988
- Schiro, Anne-Marie, "The Three US Designers, Less or More in the Mainstream", in The New York Times, 4 November 1988
- Sinclair, Paul, and Lesley Jane Nonkin, "Designer, Client: The Modern Equation", in Vogue (New York) November 1987
- Carlsen, Peter, "Ronaldus Shamask" in Contemporary Designers, ed. Ann Lee Morgan, Detroit 1984
- Sturdza, Marina, "Ronaldus Shamask" in Fashions 85 (New York), ed. Emily White 1984
- Duka, John, "New Architects of Fashion", in New York Times Magazine, 16 August 1981
- Shapiro, Harriet, "Ronaldus Shamask's Wearable Architecture" in People Magazine
- "Shamask: High Technique", in Women's Wear Daily (New York), 3 November 1980
SPRING 2011 LOOK BOOK
This Lifestyle collection is a wearable, accessible extension of the conceptual collection with seasonal fabrics shown in timeless silhouettes.
After pioneering intellectual design and architectural clothing in the late 70s and achieving fashion stardom in the late 80s, Ronaldus Shamask returns to his legendary clean, ethereal roots.
The current collection is based on the timeless design of Mr. Shamask's critically acclaimed spiral jacket, created 1981 and featured in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institute, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
This collection shows sensual, spare, subtle, and wearable pieces executed in timeless shapes and bold colors. In Ronaldus Shamask's hand, rich, essential fabrics are mostly cut on the bias, with seams that curve to mimic a lemon peel. The integrity of the fabric is left intact with natural drape and fold caressing and adorning the body. Cut and structure provide thematic focus. Seams that run from the back of the garment are decorative and functional.
Wall Street Journal Today
In the airy gallery where the exhibition "Ronaldus Shamask: Form, Fashion, Reflection" is on display at the Perelman Building (an annex of the Philadelphia Museum of Art), three designs in the same shade of butterfly yellow are given pride of place on the back wall. These three pieces—two short dresses and a poncho—are not made of fabric but of tissue paper. In each, a long plastic "infinity" zipper acts as a traditional closure, yet also doubles as ingenious structure—spaghetti straps on one dress, a halter strap on another. All three pieces are lighted from within, an illumination that accentuates the folds and seams that give the designs their shape. Paper, zipper, an incandescent bulb, the sun-struck yellow of Apollo—these elements merge into the kind of eureka moment that is the modus operandi of fashion designer Ron Shamask. His designs are beautiful ideas that women can wear.
Born in Amsterdam in 1945, Mr. Shamask was raised in Australia and spent his early 20s in London. Though trained as an architect, he worked as a fashion illustrator for English newspapers, studied stage design, and painted. He came to the U.S. in 1972 and, in partnership with Murray Moss six years later, a fashion label was born: Shamask. It closed after 12 years, and while Mr. Moss went on to open Moss in New York's SoHo district—a retail store known for its pitch-perfect inventory of industrial design—Mr. Shamask, in 1996, began a new fashion business of his own, this time in uppercase: SHAMASK. Read the article here