– LOOKING TWICE Fashion and Illusion – Exhibition period: 03.04-06.04 2011 – Cecilie Stöger Nachman
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Looking Twice: Fashion and Illusion Dresses that pretend to be other garments, other objects. Fabrics that lie. Prints that look three-dimensional but are flat. Bodies that are skewed and warped by their enclosing garments. Garment shapes that defy their own laws. Clothing that does not seem real. Illusion is mischievous; it plays tricks on the mind and alters our perceptions. Its ability to playfully tease has led an increasing number of fashion designers to experiment with the subject, creating fantastical garments that present alternative versions of reality. This exhibition will explore the dynamic relationship between fashion and illusion, reflecting the noticeable current interest in these themes through the exhibits, which are all from the collections of recent fashion graduates. The influential scholar of visual perception, R. L. Gregory, divided illusion into four categories: distortion, fiction, paradox and ambiguity. These categories have been adopted in this exhibition to demonstrate the illusionary effects employed by the designers exhibited. Both the garments and the display methods invite the audience to question what they see, to literally look twice. – Curated by May Chu, Emma Chun, Aurélie Costes, Fabiola Galiani, Lucy Mitchell, Cecilie Stöger Nachman, Giulia Piccioni, Fabiana Sciacca, Hayley Sherratt, Nicky Sowter, Rafaelle Swynghedauw and Niamh Tuft
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GRAPHIC IDENTITY –
Primary Typeface: Akkurat Secondary Typeface: Helvetica Colours: Magenta and Cyan (the two colours are taken from 3D-glasses)
Collective Gallery 15 Camden High Street Camden, London NW1 7JE
Logos in colour and grayscale
Existing floor plan
Diagram of the changes to the space. All 8 objects are shown as Cyan, either on mannequins or hanging.
The space before and after
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PRESENTATION OF THE DESIGNERS – Monika Leonik- Behind the Mirror collection (LCF BA Hons Fashion: Design Technology (Design Pattern Cutter) “BEHIND THE MIRROR is a personal journey through the imagination of human eye perception, its visual deception and surreal recognition in searching for self-identification based on reflection in the mirror. The mirror surfaces create the feedback effect, which deforms objects inside the reflective space. And distorted shapes are achieved by surrounding infinitely reflective curved surfaces. This technique led me to self-examination seen through the mirror and eventually, it inspired me to explore exaggerated shapes and develop distorted silhouettes for my Fall/Winter 2010 Collection. The surreal body deformation images are taken for the print realisation.
Hiroki Nakajima (CSM BA) “Hiroko Nakajima took upholstered chairs and turned them into sweeping jackets, paintings became neck pieces and fabrics were used to create button-back effects over volumous velour outerwear.” (from Amelia’s Magazine- blog)
The trompe l’oeil effects of framed garments and surreal blend of furntirue and fashion provide illusions which create fantastical garments which play with the concept of wearability.
Silky, heavy satins, Italian wools and fine leathers are beautifully cut and finished to distinguish my first, edgy and quirky looking, collection. Overall, I just wanted to challenge myself through design process and pattern manipulation, in order to create clothes that could express my personality seen through the mirror, in distorted effects.” (from Monika’s Showtime profile)
Ara Jo- Hypnosis collection CSM ’09 Graduate (BA Fashion Design Womenswear) The piece on the far left was worn by Lady Gaga.
The inspiration for the collection stemmed from the state of Hypnosis and the way in which it restricts the movement of the body. Everything is trapped in space and time in the hypnotic state. Hence the collection restrictive and flexi.
Charlotte Helyar- (Edinburgh College of Art) “Originally from Glasgow, I have recently graduated with a BA (Hons) in Textiles from Edinburgh College of Art. A growing search for escapism, brought about by the turn-of-the decade, serves as a muse for my graduate collection. Inspired by Retro-futurism and Dystopia, I have created a collection of hand-drawn and intensely patterned fashion textiles that appear in 3D. This optical technique has been honed through a combination of digital and hand screen-printing to create designs on silks and fine cottons that appear to leap out and recede into the fabric when viewed through 3D glasses. I am currently on the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins College of Art, where I am specialising in Print.” (Charlotte’s bio)
Although the collection explores the darker connotations of hypnosis it is playful and fantastical.
Dazed and Confused Interview with Ara Jo: http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/ article/4210/1/ara-jo-london-uk
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PRESENTATION OF THE DESIGNERS – Natalie Rae Richardson- LCF BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear Dinu Bodiciu (LCF MA Fashion Design and Technology) “My work focuses on explorations of human body and its interaction with garments. I perceive garment as an extension of the body and I am interested in its ‘organic’ nature. The collection takes as a starting point the concept of mirror stage in psychoanalysis broadly defined as the moment when we became conscious of our identity by discovering our reflection in the mirror.”
Dinu’s collection plays with the flatness of images in mirror and the 3D nature of dress to create illusions of surface and depth
This debut collection fuses bold embroidery and a natural colour palette with casual American 1980s silhouettes. Inspired by the anthropomorphic artwork of artist Ryan Berkeley, each of the 6 looks invokes the spirit of well-shod wildlife from Berekely's animal portraiture. Using a different animal from 6 of Berkeley's illustrations, Natalie has brought together elements of nature photography, detail from Victorian period animal illustrations as well as experimental painting techniques. The collection balances organic, ethically sourced fabrics and material with a fashion-forward sensibility. Fabrics for this collection come from organics suppliers in India and the UK. The majority of this collection's fabrics have been hand-dyed to match the warm palette of Berkeley's illustrations. The one-of-a-kind embroidery work was designed by Natalie and crafted by Hand and Lock of London. *Shortlisted for WGSN 2010 Global Fashion Awards for Most Creative Student Collection
Natalie uses illusion from an ethical perspective. The surface embroidery that looks like fur will make visitors to our exhibition look closer and recognise the potential deception in the very surface of fabrics.
Eunmi Hwang- MA Digital Fashion
Mandy Sharabani- A Fool’s Paradise collection (Womenswear- Gerrit Rietveld Academy)
“Mandy’s final collection "A Fool's Paradise". The Amsterdam-based designer studied one year Design&Styling at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, followed by the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, where she completed her Bachelor in Fashion Design in 2010. Another interpretation to clothing (especially the ladies classic coat) approached with a certain playfulness, would be the signature of her as a designer. Ever fascinated by the 1920s Bauhaus; the minimal style and color planes are clearly reflected in her final collection. Optical illusion as a main theme; a dress that looks a dress, but actually is a reversed coat. Colour fields of flocked velvet and color graphics combined with hard graphical lines, all enhances the effect of optical illusions even more. "I like to confuse people at first and then make them look closer at the piece to understand it more.“ (from Mandy Sharabani’s tumblr page) Mandy’s collection particularly looked at optical illusions created by the sense of presence/absence of glass in modernist architecture.
“My final project explores the creative use of digital technology to make the current fashion industry more sustainable via two main concepts; a digitally finished manufacturing process for clothing and textile production, and a digital experience for customer participation as a promotional strategy. Various kinds of digital technologies play an important role in the sustainable fashion industry, especially, digital textile printing which enables the digital production process to integrate with the promotional strategy by using projection technology as a creative solution in this project.” (from Eunmi’s Showtime page) We were particularly interested in the projected digital print which forms an illusory surface pattern on the garments.
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EXHIBITION LEAFLET –
BA (Hons) Fashion Design (Knitwear) Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design 2010.
Hiroko Nakajima plays with the fantastical. Inanimate objects are brought to life through the strategic use of fabric and structure. Nakajima cites her old bedroom as her inspiration. ‘I felt as though my belongings came to life and welcomed me back. I wanted to express the close relationship between an object and its owner’.
BA (Hons) Textiles Edinburgh College of Art 2010
The rise of 3D technology opens the possibility for virtual realities in clothing. By using a combination of hand and digital screen printing, Charlotte has created a hallucinatory experience of dress. _________________________________________________________________
Paradox Dresses that pretend to be other garments, other objects. Fabrics that lie. Prints that look three-dimensional but are flat. Bodies that are skewed and warped by their enclosing garments. Garment shapes that defy their own laws. Clothing that does not seem real.
Distortion (view text in mirror)
Behind the Mirror
BA (Hons) Fashion: Design & Technology (Designer Pattern Cutter)
Illusion of Reality / Reality of Illusion
MA Fashion Design & Technology London College of Fashion 2011.
A paradox revealed in a dress without structure. The starting point for Tudor’s MA collection was the ‘mirror stage’ concept in psychoanalysis, which examines how we perceive our image in a mirror. Garments have been flattened and the nature of fabrics explored, becoming intrinsically linked to human anatomy.
Mandy Sharabani London College of Fashion 2010
Leonik’s collection represents a journey through visual perception, its deception and surreal recognition in searching for an identity. Exaggerated shapes and distorted silhouettes have been created through the use of a mirror. The mirrored surfaces of the garment create a feedback effect, deforming surrounding objects through the reflective spaces.
A paradox presents us with an irresolvable contradiction. Here both garments question our assumptions about surface and depth, the interactions between bodies and clothing, and the very way in which we categorise what we wear.
BA (Hons) Fashion Design (Womenswear) Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design 2009
How does it feel to be trapped in a dream-like state? What happens when our senses are distorted? The prison of the mind is depicted through Jo’s collection, which restrains the movement of the body. Jo explains, ‘when people are hypnotised, they can’t really move or talk. I started to design from that point of view. People are hypnotised inside my collection’.
A Fools Paradise
BDes Fashion Gerrit Rietveld Academy 2010
Is it a jacket? Is it a dress? Sharabani’s garment is a sartorial paradox. Inspired by the optical illusions created by viewing objects through glass, this garment is designed to confuse, forcing the viewer to look closer to distinguish separate components. Shoes by Eva van Aalst A Fool’s Paradise
BDes Fashion Gerrit Rietveld Academy 2010 (?) check details
Ambiguity Abmigiuty mkaes us awrae of the sujbectvitiy of our preceptoin by proividng mutlilpe itnerpertatoins of the saem tinhg. These ambiguous garments do not provide a single interpretation but move between alternative possibilities. The objects within this section create uncertainty through their surface textiles. Both make you look closer to discover their hidden truths.
Film Saloon Films Restriction (duration approx 2-3mins)
Natalie Rae Richardson
The zoetrope, a visual illusion popular in the Victorian period, was the inspiration for this short film. The effect is unsettling, visually representing the hypnotic effects of the mind controlling the body. It has been created by Will Cummock, in association with Saloon Films. Saloon are a collective of directors, animators, artists and producers based in Soho, who service the full spectrum of digital media, as well as making short films and art based projects.
This object is not what it first seems. On closer inspection, what is thought to be fur is in fact bold embroidery. The viewer has been tricked. Richardson has combined clever needlework with classic 1980s silhouettes to create a collection that is open to multiple interpretations.
Well Dressed Animals
BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Technology: Womenswear London College of Fashion 2010
This piece portrays the illusion of print. Some may perceive a garment that has a permanent print, but in reality it is projected. Hwang explores the creative use of digital technology to make the current fashion industry more sustainable.
Optical illusions are figments of our imagination, not real yet present to the individual. The garments in this section explore the possibility of different versions of reality. Both substitute flat surfaces for 3D effects: one by using a cutting edge technique and the other by experimenting with inanimate objects.
Play with Light
MA Digital Fashion London College of Fashion 2011
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THE EXHIBITION –
Left page top: The entrance Left page bottom: The movie showing in the background Right page: Atmosphere by day and by night
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THE INSTALLATIONS – Distortion – Object 1 and 2
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THE INSTALLATIONS – Fiction – Object 3 and 4
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THE INSTALLATIONS – Paradox – Object 5 and 6
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THE INSTALLATIONS – Ambiguity – Object 7 and 8
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MORE INFORMATION AT – lookingtwiceexhibition.blogspot.com