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Art

Garment-Like Sculptures by Susie MacMurray Explore Perceptions of Female Identity

September 24, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Chain mail, needles, and dishwashing gloves: though not the materials you’d expect a dress to be made from, British artist Susie MacMurray uses them in her garment-inspired sculptures. MacMurray’s first piece in this body of work was Gladrags, made in 2002 from 10,000 pink balloons. Since then, the artist has produced several other seemingly wearable sculptures including Medusa (copper chain mail), Widow (leather and 100,000 dressmaker needles), and A Mixture of Frailties (1,400 household gloves).

“They have all been more concerned with the perception of women, their power and their vulnerabilities,” she explains to Colossal. “I am interested in how human strengths and frailties can often be one and the same thing. I suppose you could almost call them portraits… Much of my sculpture and drawing practice is concerned in one way or another with the perception and negotiation of female identity, both internal and external.”

MacMurray was formerly a classical musician, and she retrained as an artist, graduating in 2001 with an MA in Fine Art. In addition to her garment sculptures, MacMurray also creates drawings and architectural installations. You can see more of her work on her website and Twitter. (via #WomensArt)

 

 



Art

Crystallized Ballet Slippers and Soccer Cleats by Alice Potts

August 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Royal College of Art student Alice Potts grows crystals on shirts, slippers, and various athletic wear from a common yet unlikely source—sweat. The London-based artist encrusts wearables in natural formations that elevate the sporty objects into one-of-a-kind sculptures. The series, titled PERSPIRE, aims to show how we could grow our own accessories, rather than having them manufactured.

“Every human is unique, and so is the sweat they produce, encapsulating our health, wellbeing and identity,” Potts told Dazed. “In the future I’m keen to develop the idea and use it to explore sustainable processes within fashion.”

You can see more of her crystallized shoes and garments on Instagram.

 

 



Design

The Van Gogh Museum and Vans Collaborate on a Wearable Collection of Masterworks

July 31, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

All images courtesy of Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has partnered with footwear and apparel brand Vans for a collaborative collection based on Vincent van Gogh’s iconic paintings. Drawing from his famed Almond Tree, Sunflowers, and Skull paintings, the collection includes sneakers in Vans’ classic silhouettes as well as shirts, bomber jackets, hats, and a backpack. Some of the profits from the project will be donated to preserving van Gogh’s legacy and artwork. All items in the Vans x Van Gogh Museum collection are available for sale starting August 3, 2018 from Vans and the Van Gogh Museum. For those concerned about the styled photos containing the artworks, the museum assures Colossal that the framed works shown are extremely high quality reproductions. (via Juxtapoz)

 

 

 



Design

Pleated Garments Inspired by Birds in Flight by Iris van Herpen

July 10, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Syntopia is the latest haute couture collection from Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen. The line of beautifully pleated garments explores the increasing convergence of our organic bodies and inorganic elements of technology, while also incorporating designs inspired by birds in flight.

“As a former dancer, the transformation within movement has hypnotized me,” explained van Herpen in a statement about Syntopia. “For this collection I looked closely at the minutiae of bird flight and the intricate echoing forms within avian motion.”

Transparent silk organza was pleated and liquid-coated for several pieces in the collection. This technique slowed down the movement of the garment, more closely imitating the flapping pattern of a bird’s wings. This was also the inspiration for a kinetic installation made in collaboration with Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta of Studio Drift (previously). The work, “In 20 Steps,” was formed from twenty delicate glass tubes which peaked and bowed above the runway in succession, moving in synchronicity each model.

Other dress forms were made from the sound wave patterns of specific birds. These noises were visualized and laser cut into mylar, black cotton, red organza and transparent black acrylic sheets and then layered like feathers to create a cohesive piece. You can see the entire range of avian-inspired clothing from van Herpen’s recent collection on her website and in the video below. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art

Crumbling Concrete Structures Transformed Into Designer Purses by Street Artist Thrashbird

June 29, 2018

Andrew LaSane

Los Angeles-based artist Thrashbird is known primarily for stencils and paintings that blend socio-political commentary and humor, which are often done in highly visible areas like on city walls or billboards. For a recent project called “Valley Of Secret Values,” the artist ventured off the beaten path to an abandoned industrial site. Thrashbird transformed crumbling structures into replicas of high-end designer bags using paint for designs and nearby found objects like tires and wood for the handles, straps, and hardware.

While on an expedition through Lime, Oregon, the artist happened upon what used to be a power plant. “To see [the stones] crumbling with the passage of time, returning to the earth as a dust, well the metaphor was too strong to disregard,” Thrashbird told Ignant. He chose to paint the structures as handbags as “part beautification project, part cautionary tale,” drawing parallels to the destructive nature of society’s obsession with consumerism while confronting his own demons.

“We grapple for status and purpose in society, and [consume] possessions to showcase how successful we are and to fill us with purpose, with complete disregard for the people and the planet affected by our careless overconsumption,” Thrashbird said. “Our measure of success has been skewed. We’ve come to a place in society where things and social status have become more important than our connection to each other.”

You can see more of the street artist’s roving installations on Instagram. Thrashbird also offers prints and small editions of original artwork in his online store. (via Ignant)

 

 



Photography

Afro Beauty Brought to Life in Photographer Luke Nugent’s Lavish Hair Portraiture

April 25, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

British photographer Luke Nugent captures a wide range of style, beauty, and personal expression in his creative photo shoots, for which he often works with London-based hair stylist Lisa Farrall. Nugent highlights women of color in his varied series, from the more subdued everyday styles in Emancipate to the Afrofuturism-inspired Armour, which was a finalist for the 2016 British Hair Awards.

Nugent studied photography at London’s University of Greenwich, and has been shooting professionally since his late teens. He creates work for a variety of commercial and editorial campaigns, with a focus on fashion, portraiture, and music. You can see more of his photography on his website, as well as Instagram and Behance. (via Scene360)

 

 

 



Art History

A Seamstress’s Autobiographical Text Embroidered Onto Her 19th-Century Straitjacket

April 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

German seamstress Agnes Richter (1844–1918) was a patient at the Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic during the 1890s. While held at the asylum she would densely embroider her standard issue straitjacket, stitching the object with words, phrases, and diaristic entries in deutsche schrift, an old German script. The layers of language make it difficult to distinguish a beginning or end to the writing, and only fragmented phrases have been deciphered from the jacket such as “I am not big,” “I wish to read,” and “I plunge headlong into disaster.”

The object is a part of the Prinzhorn Collection at the University of Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic, named after collector and psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn. The collection contains over 5,000 paintings, wooden sculptures, sketches, and other art-based ephemera from patients at the hospital, collected by the psychiatrist during the early 20th-century. This vast collection of work made by psychiatric patients has had a major influence on a modern understanding of “outsider art,” or the artwork created by self-taught artists who have had little to no contact with the mainstream art world.

Over a century later, the jacket remains a powerful item, a lasting object that showcases how one woman transformed a sterile and impersonal garment into a rich record of her life’s journey. (via #WOMENSART)

Update: Sources vary as to whether this article of clothing was Richter’s straitjacket, a regular jacket, or part of a non-restrictive institutional uniform.

Left image via This Is Not Modern Art tumblr, right image via The Lulubird