Inspiring Artist – Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen was an extremely talented, bright star of the fashion world that left this earth too soon. His work was art with a capital A and will never go out of style. He committed suicide in 2010, he was 40 years old.
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I’m going to share some of my favorites from his body of work but first…

You may be surprised to know that in a former life I was a fashion designer. If you know me you know I dress in jeans and sweatshirts more often than not stained with paint and fabric dye. I majored in Fashion Design at Moore College of Art in the eighties. When I graduated I wasn’t ready to run out and get a job so I stayed in school for a 5th year study where I painted and did my first soft sculpture. Ultimately I took a job as a fashion design assistant. I quickly moved up to head designer and ended up totally burnt out by the end of 3 years. I dabbled in freelance print design but I didn’t see it going anywhere and eventually left the fashion industry altogether to pursue painting and acting. Acting was a great way to get out all my pent up emotions. I loved that it was okay for my character to yell, scream and cry. Anyway, I can relate to how the industry can eat a creative soul alive.

Alexander McQueen inspires me because he was a rebel. Initially trained as a tailor was accepted to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. He received a master’s degree in Fashion Design in 1992. He was immediately in the press when his entire graduate collection was bought by the fashion stylist Isabella Blow. They became close friends and she supported him throughout his career. In 1996 he was hired to take over Givenchy but the house was so conservative that he didn’t have the freedom he wanted and needed to do his best work. From the beginning his shows under his own label were like performance art or happenings. His work evolved and yes some of it is absolutely outrageous, but it stands the test of time because of its powerful narratives and incredible innovations. I love his nature inspired work and his beautiful silhouettes.

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Spring /Summer 1999 his show ended with a model wearing a dress that was spray painted by 2 robots. You can watch it here.

No.13 spring-summer 2004 interl-h264 576p 6500kbps from Metropolitan Museum of Art on Vimeo.

Inspiring Artist

I am so inspired by the work of Elizabeth Delfs.

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She was born in Perth, Australia and holds a degree in Fashion and Textile Design from Curtin University of Technology. Her work  crossing the boundaries  between fashion, theatre, design and visual arts.

She states “I am in interdisciplinary artist and my practice explores the nature of constructed space and how perceptions of our environment are built through utilizing architecture and garment construction to investigate their shared theoretical and production strategies. Work explores the rendering of space through objects that vacillate between habitations and figurative sculpture articulated by the exchange of qualities from the body (organic) and the built environment (inorganic). Outcomes are often sculptural and may resonate with or confront the ergonomics of the human body which is usually present by inference. Materials used evoke movement and changing mass in the structural support and shifting surface. Luminous prismatic shapes tend to hover in space, on the floor or attached to walls. Non-orientable surfaces orchestrate interplay of reconfigurable architectonic forms which imply continuous expansion and protracted stillness with a delicate sense of equipoise. Applied to the body, the objects envelope and distort the silhouette, and when installed create an unfamiliar sensuality by erupting from surfaces recalling corporeal and architectonic topographies. Outcomes often blur the line between interior/exterior, object/surface, permanent/ephemeral, gender/genderless, nature/culture. “

My personal favorites are these pieces made out of netting that look amazing hung in a gallery show but really come to life when they are worn on the body.

Elizabeth Delf Artwork

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You can see more of her work here and watch a video of behind the scenes of this photo shoot which was a collaboration with Nick Fitzpatrick for Colosoul Magazine, 2011.