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BlackWool#1

By

  • anastasia la fey : artist I maker I couturier
  • Polak.studios
  • Helen Demos hairstylist

Description

BlackWool#1 was designed and crafted in response to an invitation by international photographer Christopher Polak to collaborate on a project in which Sculpture was the theme of the brief. The aesthetic starting point was the work of sculptors Jack Youngerman and Rosemarie Powell with the directive: “a large black stark silhouette and somewhere amongst it is a hole where we see right through it. Even better if we don’t show the model through the hole so it breaks up the visual and makes an illusion…”. The garment’s created also needed to be able to realise up to six different “looks”.

Key Features

1

As with much of my work, and in direct response to this project brief, BlackWool#1 was designed to be shape-shifting – enabling it to move and change with the body, as well as extend beyond the parameters and definitions of a garment, morphing the human form into a series of “living sculptures”.
The modularity of design enables multi-form function and creative interpretation of its wearer, encouraging them to engage and experiment; with this garment specifically and with the potentialities of fashion design more broadly.
The use of a single natural fibre, Australian wool, embeds both sustainability and wearability into the design.

2

Environmental considerations are embedded in this work at every stage, from conception to realisation. It encapsulates a radical reaction against unethical production values, lack of sustainability, environmental irresponsibility, homogenisation and hypercommercialism over design integrity.
The work is developed, designed and crafted by a single creator using a single natural fibre – Australian wool – speaking to wearability, sustainability and circular economy considerations.
Minimisation of textile waste is built into the design process resulting in a near-zero waste footprint.
The modularity of design enables the multi-form function/ appearance of a single high-end couture garment, addressing issues around over consumption and hyper-capitalism.

3

Since the creation of BLACKWOOL#2, the projects’ editorial outcome was published in international publication, Schön! Magazine and recently won the Prix de la Photographie, Paris fashion advertising silver award.
It has been worn by international fashion icon, Lily Gatins, in photographic and music video shoots and chosen for exhibition at MFW | QVM 2020.
Such a response highlights what can be achieved by dedicated, independent Victorian designer/makers, showcases the remarkable opportunities that investment in Victoria’s fashion design sector could bring, advances the profile of intelligent, innovative, environmentally-conscious and unique Victorian design excellence and inspires future designers to continue pushing boundaries.

4

The primary challenge of this project was that it was independently artist-funded. With no working budget to speak of, each member of the collaborative team was to fund their own contribution. This being the case, the approach was taken to design a “modular” garment that could be “rearranged”, creating multiple distinct but cohesive aesthetic outcomes.
The end photographic work was to be submitted for editorial to major international fashion publications and, in so, needed to both meet their criteria of design excellence, aesthetic beauty, reader relevance/ value as well as to stand out as a uniquely singular and innovative work.

5

BlackWool#1 sees imagination in design being developed through its function by expanding it beyond preconceived confines of “fashion” into realms that encompass artistic value, social & environmental idealism and imaginative user experience.
Design is not approached as a thing outside of and imposed upon our lives but, instead, ordinary life provides both the base for artistic imagination as well as the stage and battlefield for contemporary art and design.
Works created such echo with the intention of the design itself. They inherit the origin of art/ craftsmanship/ history and, through an intelligent and holistic design approach, translate a future of possibility.

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