WEEK FIVE HAS BEEN FOCUSED ON DEVELOPING AND CONDUCTING A GROUP EXPERIMENT EXPLORING ‘FRAGILITY’. MARCO, ELYSE AND I ARE WORKING WITH GLASS AND IT’S SMASHING. I ALSO EXPLORE REFERENCES WITH FRAGILITY IN MIND AND DISCOVER A WHOLE NEW WAY OF INTERPRETING THE NOTION OF TRANSFORMATION. ANOTHER BIG WEEK FOR DOCUMENTATION AS I PUT TOGETHER A QUICK STOP MOTION, AND WORK ON A BEAUTIFUL QUALITY FILM FOR THE SMASHING OF OUR GLASS PIECE.
Although Issey Miyake and the legendary photographer Irving Penn came from vastly different worlds and cultures, they were responsible for one of the most creative unions in fashion, one equally as iconic as Helmut Newton’s erotically charged photograph of YSL’s “Le Smoking” tuxedo, or more recently Juergen Teller’s skewed take on the aesthetic of Marc Jacobs. This month, the 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT cultural centre in Tokyo launches Irving Penn And Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue – a stunning document of their 13- year collaboration. Miyake came to define a radical Japanese aesthetic that shook up the fashion status quo in the 1980s and 90s.
ISSEY MIYAKE IRVING PENN Despite the fact Miyake never attended the photo sessions by Penn (nor did Penn ever go to any of Miyake’s shows) – there is an incredible visual conversation that arose between the two artists due to the complete artistic freedom afforded to Penn. The sculptural quality of Miyake’s work is boldly captured in his images – a furrow of pleats transforms a woman into an elegant slinky, or a coat is inflated like an oversize balloon. In fact, Penn noted in the introduction to his 1988 monograph, Issey Miyake: Photographs By Irving Penn: “His designs are not fashionable, but women of style are enriched by them and are made more beautiful by them.”
As ‘Bodhi’ is a Sanskrit word traditionally translated into English as ‘enlightenment’, the focus of the exhibition is on human search for knowledge. Despite being conceived in 2010 and postponed until 2012, the exhibition naturally coincides with the opening of the gallery, beginning with an ending, and consequently staying true to the cycle where the continuity remains intact. The curator, Mila Askarova, set up Gazelli Art House because she felt that there was a shortage of commercial galleries running with a non-profit mind set, which according to Askarova, is a very difficult but rewarding balance to strike.
MILA ASKAROVA BODHI
Featuring the artworks of Jaume Plensa, Khanlar Gasimov, Olympia Scarry and Shan Hur, Gazelli Art House is this week presenting its first exhibition, ‘Bodhi’. The art organisation has already had a successful series of shows across London-based venues. ‘Bodhi’ is the finale of the shows that took place throughout 2011, which concentrated on the five main classical elements – Fire, Earth, Water, Air and Ether.
Using contemporary art as a tool to engage with our inner self and respond to our surroundings, Askarova points out the importance of acknowledging the interconnectivity between the self and the environment, describing it as something “worth reminding ourselves of every now and then”.
HUSSEIN CHALAYAN AIRBORNE & SAKOKU
The retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs proves that Chalayan, who likes to define himself as “an ideas person”, rather than just a fashion designer, is truly a visionarily innovative designer, probably the one and only contemporary designer who managed to produce timeless experimental pieces bridging fashion and technology tackling themes such as the hybridisation of cultures, anatomy, genetic anthropology and the psychological and physical implications of imperial expansion, chronicling through his creations the dramatic changes and transformations society goes through.
â€˜Oil Painting Dressâ€™, for which the house has washed three oil paintings to strip the canvas of its gesso, softened them and then pieced them together in this shift, carefully folding them to create a waist. I think this concept runs parallel to that of our studio and could definitely be explored. Like much of Margielas other work too. I just love the way that this garment would react over time. It will crack and crease and fade, and the paint may crack off.
MARTIN MAISON MARGIELA REWORKS
LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION
The College’s latest exhibition, Wonderland, blends art and science. In the foyer of their John Prince’s Street site, a dress is gradually being lowered into a vat of water – and dissolving. Called ‘Disappearing dresses’ the students have put together a series of dresses made using a combination of dissolvable threads and papers.
MARK MAWSON PAINT IN WATER
Mark Mawson from Sydney captures these beautiful shots by dropping paint in water. The colors and the lighting are simply amazing! Author said that in these color shapes everyone sees what they want to see. This is one of the more temporal examples i’ve discovered. I’ve thought about the idea of having drips of dye slowly dripping into a plastic coat full of water. But i’d have to experiment more with that notion.
ELYSE, MARCO AND MYSELF DECIDED WE REALLY WANTED TO EXPLORE GLASS FOR THE FRAGILITY WORKSHOP. WE THOUGHT ABOUT A MILLION DIFFERENT WAYS OF DOING THIS. WE CONSIDERED GLASS BEADS BUT REALLY WANTED THE DOCUMENTATION TO INVOLVE THE GARMENTS ‘SMASHING’ AND FIGURED THE BEADS WOULD BE TOO RESILIENT. WE CONSIDERED JARS AND WINE GLASSES BUT THOUGHT IT MAY BE TOO EXPENSIVE. EVENTUALLY WE CAME UP WITH THE IDEA OF USING LIGHT BULBS. AND DECIDED TO CREATED A SYMMETRICAL CHEST PIECE OUT OF THE LIGHT BULBS AND SMASH IT, PLAYING ON THE NOTION OF “OUT OF ORDER COMES CHAOS”. WE DOCUMENTED THE MAKING AND THE SMASHING, AND I PUT TOGETHER A FILM AS THE FINAL PRESENTATION PIECE. FOLLOWING ARE DOCUMENTATIVE PHOTOS.
WEEK FIVE OF TRANSFORM STUDIO | FRAGILITY