Saturday, 4 December 2010

Design Museum Fashion talks

Hywel Davies interviewing the flamboyantly dressed Fred Butler.

The 'Sparkle the Dark up' event at the Design Musuem although not particularly sparkly, was nonetheless pretty interesting. Hywel Davies, author of 'Fashion Designers' Sketchbooks' gave 4 key contemporary fashion figures a real grilling- Richard Nicoll, Fred Butler, Bora Asku and Amy Moleyaux from PPQ. A key point raised by each of the designers and which seems to be a reoccuring theme in every talk/ exhibition I visit is the importance of collaboration. Fashion designers are increasingly looking to join forces with artists, filmakers, musicians, choreographers etc. Fred Butler, a remarkably subdued character in contrast with her crazy otherworldly accessories talked about her love of learning old crafts from second hand books and then applying them to synthetic materials. She described her USP (Unique selling product) by the fact that her creations perplex people and they aren't able to figure out how she has made them. Bora Asku gave a plug to carboot sales in Vauxhall and Portabello as highly inspirational places to visit. Finally, Amy Moleyeux defined the key features of the PPQ brand with the words 'dresses, surface decoration and print'. Looking at the S/S11 Collection and this is easy to see-

Designs are feminine, bold, modern and fresh.

The exhibition at the Museum - 'Drawing Fashion' was a beautiful, highly elegant collection of remarkable fashion illustrations from the twentieth and twenty first centuries. I particularly liked some of the alternative approaches to drawing and am keen to discover more about 'monotyping', a process which unlike monoprinting, removes ink to create an image. See below.

Francois Berthoud, Comme des Garcons
Vogue, Japan 2001
Linocut, monotype and collage.

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