I find fiercely independent fashion design studios intriguing. Driven by a singular vision, unwavering in self-belief and marching to the beat of their own drum. At the Art Institute of Chicago, curator Zoe Ryan rounded up three such designers – Bless, Boudicca and Sandra Bucklund – for an exhibition exploring their working process and vision.
Zoe explains her thinking behind Fashioning the Object:
I was interested in the way in which these designers harness a conceptual and intellectual approach to fashion design, imbuing their work with visual fictions drawn from daily life, and using the platform of fashion design as a forum for creative expression, dialogue and exchange, as well as an armature for understanding our place in the world. At the centre of these designers’ works lie narratives that aren’t fictional or escapist, but rather, relate to daily life – either the experiences of those around them or their own struggles.
These designers have a cross-disciplinary approach using film, photography, graphic design and installations as a way to create work. The traditional methods of fashion presentation is overturned and gives their viewers the chance to engage with their work in a different way and to make sense of it.
This more multi-faceted approach enables these designers to frame their work, provide insights into their working process, and ultimately emphasise their ideas and inventive spirit in an effort to offer more complex readings of their work that go beyond any single garment or accessory.
Fashioning the Object exhibition runs from 11 Apr to 5 Aug 2012 at the Art Institute Chicago