SERIES #3 Fash-art
For ‘SERIES #3 Fash-art’, I interviewed trend forecaster Geraldine Wharry in examination of SERIES #003, her multi-disciplinary project and collection that was displayed in Paris in 2017.
There is a fray between fashion and art. Not because the two don’t get along, but because no one seems able to agree on whether or not they should. They are the Romeo and Juliet of contemporary culture, two forces united in a marriage that invites approval and disapproval in seemingly equal measure. When it comes to what fashion means to art, and what art means to fashion, there are a lot of ums and ahs, and many clashing opinions. But despite this ongoing debate, one obvious truth remains: collaborations between artists and designers have never been as present as they are today.
That being said, the interlacing of fashion and art and art and fashion is nothing new. One of the most famous examples to date happened back in the ’30s, involving a dress designed by Elsa Schiaparelli and a lobster drawn by Dali. The gown was made from virginal white organdy and characterised by a particularly large orange crustacean, the perfect hybridisation of surrealism and haute couture. Suffice to say, the dress caused quite a stir.
Up until that moment there was art and there was fashion, plus a largely conceited void that fell somewhere in between. Dali and Schiaparelli changed all that, the lobster-dress-induced scandal doing little to dampen the spirit of their combined imaginings. Designers and artists have been making (what I like to refer to as) fash-art ever since.
One woman blurring these boundaries further is fashion designer and trend forecaster extraordinaire Geraldine Wharry. Known internationally for her thought provoking and visionary foresight, Wharry will soon launch SERIES, a limited edition collection that combines fashion and art with an additional layer of trend forecasting. Inspired by
“Girl Gang” and “Outdoor Eccentrics”—two of Wharry’s most recent industry projections—SERIES #003 embodies the spirit of the “love warriors” within the designer’s local community.
Girl Gang represents the future generation of women making their mark, individuals empowered by warrior-like attitudes peppered with a feminine spark. Vested with a heightened socio-political awareness and an adolescent nonchalance, the Girl Gang signifies the rebirth of full-fledge feminism—a call to be heard, acknowledged and accepted—characterised by softer, more sensitive undertones. They’re not about torching lingerie and hating on men, they just want the world to fall in love with one another, regardless of age, culture or sex. It’s a seeking of global camaraderie, and being unafraid of (plainly and diplomatically) telling it like it is.
This unashamed sense-of-self is also evident in the modern Outdoor Eccentric: men and women alike embracing common sense clothing in style. Once reserved for middle-aged mountaineers and sports aficionados, dressing for practicality, functionality and warmth has now become a thing. Maybe all that athleisure put us in the mood for something more, or maybe sporting textiles became too innovative to resist—nothing says sexy like a waterproof jacket (just in case it rains). The point is: parkas, polar fleeces and duffle bags are en vogue again, being worn by everyone from your best friend’s dad to Drake. Having pockets in all the right places has never looked so good.
Taking the warrior spirit of Girl Gang, and utilitarian undertones of the Outdoor Eccentric, Wharry has created SERIES #003: a collection combining military-inspired street wear classics with artist-made designs. Where Schiaparelli’s lobster dress injected art into her fashion aesthetic, SERIES #003 merges the two disciplines even further, applying art’s often slower and more considered practice to the making of clothes. In rejection of the dizzying pace of fast fashion, along with the opacity of its often-questionable production, Wharry has honoured a more gradual approach, one that mirrors the mediative process of the artist.
Featuring organic fabrics and ethically developed textiles, SERIES #003 has been locally produced by UK suppliers in Wharry’s London-based workspace. Each style is handmade, produced in extremely limited edition and—just like a work of art—signed by Geraldine. The result? A thoughtful reconnection with the clothing that we wear, one sustainable stitch at a time. In reflection of the multidisciplinary nature of the collection, SERIES #003 will be
showcased at Dorothy’s Gallery at Bastille in Paris from June 21st, during Menswear Fashion Week. The exhibition will explore the inspired forces at the heart of fashion, art and trend forecasting, designed to invite the viewer into the creative process of making. In the words of Wharry herself:
We want to inspire people with an experimental space conveying a positive creative energy. My aim is to provoke the conversation around how we create, produce and present clothing. I think the future is in creating clothing at the crossroads of art, fashion design and sustainability. This is why I call SERIES Wearable Art with a conscience.
The point is not to prove that fashion is art. The intention is to liberate the modern world’s dwindling freedom of expression. At a time when creativity so often suffers beneath the weight of commercialism, SERIES #003 reminds us of what’s important: unbridled imagination.
This story was first published at geraldinewharry.com