Thursday, 22 January 2009


God of Survival

Nick Cave

See below 'Sound Suits' produced by the artist Nick Cave, these creations
make noise as the wearer moves. They are really fantastic biomorphic forms constructed of organic and inorganic materials. Above is a detail from one of the suits, highly decorated, beautifully crafted but produced with a purpose.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The art of survival at its most basic?

The indestructible flea with huge blood sucking mandibles and armoured body.

A primordial swamp?
Actually this is a photomicrograph of debris trapped in a specimen slide. Below, part scientist/part artist Jeni Wightman has created a series of larger swamp-specimen-slides-as-canvas called Winogradsky Rothkos. These show the reactions of gases and other waste products of living cultures sandwiched in two planes of glass then framed as art.

Hussein Chalayan

The work of the highly progressive and multi-disciplinary fashion designer Chalayan, spanning the realms of art, architecture, philosophy, anthropology, politics, science, natural history. Of turkish cypriot descent, his work conveys a personal narrative unfamiliar to traditional fashion territory, selecting often unusual materials to construct forms that articulate socio-political themes such as cultural identity, displacement and migration. Above are his 'Airmail Dresses' made of paper and carrying personal messages and photos. These can be folded up and posted. Below are images from his 'Kinship Journey' collection which, correspondent to the collection's name, explore the notions of comfort and flight.

The theme of migration is evoked by the hard moulded plastic 'Airplane Dress' below, featuring motorised parts similar to those of a plane wing, which reveal contrastingly soft tulle underlayers reminiscent of feathers. There could be a play between science and nature in this juxtaposition (man-made and natural flight), or perhaps it suggests the hard exterior one needs to survive migration. An armour against the unknown.

See his work on show at the Design Museum from this weekend


Above and below images by Kasimir Malevich, a suprematist, produced in the early twentieth Century. These are 'expressive' costume design, the influences are possibly derived from Bauhaus, modernist notions of form following function but also relate to his ideas about abstraction and plasticism.

Some avant garde costume designed by Oscar Schlemmer [whilst at the Bauhaus] for a performance of the Triadic ballet. Schlemmer was interested in the relationship between form and movement and produced costume that described the relationship between body and space. And here it is being performed.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Viktor and Rolf

Some images from the fashion duo Viktor and Rolf's collections. The image above comes from the 'Doll' collection. The Russian Doll dress comprises of multiple layers of clothing one over the top of the other [think Gary Lineaker in the Walker's crisp advert!]. Viktor and Rolf's approach to the construction of clothing is often theatrical and Illustrative. There is a strong narrative to the garments with a desire to describe an unusual aspect of the clothings' functionality. This often results in strange and overblown forms, dissolving the traditional human silhouette.

True Faith by New Order.

Monday, 19 January 2009


Examples of dolls designed by Alexander Girard. Note the quasi abstract description of facial features and 'liberties' taken with recognisable aspects of the Human form. There are allusions to archetypal theatrical characters like Harlequin but the visual descriptions are pushed. More importantly the 'silhouette' of the form is outrageous [probably as much to do with physical stability as anything else] but this adds to the camp weirdness of the characters.

transform yourself!