I have always been a fan of Outsider Art and, in some way or another, I feel it has always informed my work. For Pre-Fall 2017, I was drawn to the work of Gugging artists Heinrich Reisenbauer and Johann Korec. I first came across them in a documentary, and was able to visit the Gugging House of Artists in Austria. Whilst watching the artists at work, I realised how close my way of working is to theirs. It’s to be instinctual and create what you are feeling.
Outsider Art is considered by some to be a lesser form of art. I disagree, I see creativity in its purest form. This work comes from a very honest place, full of emotion and meaning.
I wanted to bring Heinrich and Johann’s art to life in clothes that embody naivety, sophistication and lightness. To me a garment can be a work of Art in its own right. Together with the artist’s work, I wanted to create collector’s pieces that I hope people will cherish and will make them smile when they wear them.
Reisenbauer is known for his depictions of repeated everyday objects and simple motifs. I was especially attracted to his flowers, faces and sunshine motifs. To me his work symbolizes freedom, simplicity and happiness. I incorporated these motifs throughout the collection in print, glitter screen print, embroidery, jewelry and accessories. The silhouette I chose was like Reisenbauer’s work, quite childlike and odd, with cinched waist, puff sleeve and skirt, made from light weight silk netting and backed onto white organza, giving a very innocent appeal.
Johann Korec’s effigies of lovers are traced in Indian ink and painted with watercolor. They celebrate the human need for love. They reminded me of my Lovers Lace collection from AW15. Nudes in art have always been an inspiration so I thought this was a nice way to revisit the Lovers Lace theme in a more casual way. These beautiful nudes have been printed onto neoprene coats and skirts, silk dresses, knitwear and tees. The melange grey sporty neoprene and cotton give the prints a more day feel.
Other inspirations included colors from my travels to India this past summer, with lightweight loose fitting silk crepe de chine, twisted drape tops and dresses that are worn with a Tiger jacquard coat and tied with pom pom feather belt. Continuing to develop the lurex pleated skirt from AW15, I reworked it using large oversized pleats and color blocking, these are complimented with multi colored mini checkerboard grid knits in lurex.