These are questions I have been asking lately.
Firstly, I was putting together a show for the Ecofam project which focused on recycling old fashion to make new fashion. The pandemic halted progress but my fashion curiosity was whetted.
Could I make art fashion? Could I make fashion art?
I decided that the best way for me to fuse these two strands was by focussing on the artwork as the central purpose of the fashion. This also meant I didn't have to get out my sewing machine. My stitching skills are a bit limited to dressing the kids in recycled velvet curtains. (Ask them, this did actually happen).
The act of putting my art on a dress shaped wearable canvas has been great fun this week.
I have noticed that I need to get away from the idea of the aesthetic of fashion to do it properly, in the spirit of the project. I need to stop getting sucked into the sense of what the dress will look like. If I start doing that, I start thinking like a buyer at Primark.
It is hard, I am sucked into the aesthetic constantly. I am a fashion victim, born into the slavery of looking good and turning heads. I went to boarding school and became a label slave. Then there was punk, the Blitz Club, Seditionaries. Later I ran the Brighton arts Club and hosted fetish parties. Clothes have been a very important part of my public image.
I personally really like my awkward-looking dress designs. The seemingly misplaced collage-like ones with disjointed emotional messaging. The weird ones are really working for me. The ones that I think people would look at and say 'what the actual fu......'
Some of my designs have been made into repeat textile patterns. I like the patterns. Yes they are aesthetic but they are also edgy. It feels a bit like me saying, 'look at this....now look at it again'.
Plus I do like the idea of hidden images.
I can make all sorts of mischief.
Look closely for the genitals, the guns, the drugs, and the porn.
I will be putting all the artworks from my portfolio onto my dresses. I have been a practicing artist for around 15 years so there is a huge portfolio to turn into fashion art.
Is it fashion? Not really, it is art though.
See more of the art dresses by the Dominartist here