Michael Cepress

Wearable Art and the Body – Take 4 | Kuba

Wearable Art and the Body lets us spend hours with the body – thinking about it, looking at it, drawing it, conceptualizing it, studying it and celebrating it. And when the time comes, we get to design for it, make art for it and decorate it!

For many of us in the fashion and textile world, this means our brains head in the direction of fabric. What types of cloth, patterns, textures, colors and cuts best represent our ideas and help us zero in on each artistic vision as it arises?

As artist Carys Hamer studied our model, she was eager to bring her love and knowledge of African patterns and textiles to the table. We all loved seeing her set down her graphite pencil in exchange for these colorful chalks and pastels that did such a fine job of helping her develop quick but focused studies related to the Kuba tribe of Congo – and eventually settling on the beginnings of a wonderful design for her Kuba Kaftan.

My philosophy with these workshops is to not dwell for a single second. As an idea comes, get it onto the page. Tedium, refinement and carefully honed craftsmanship can all come later. First we must engage with the spirit of our own ideas and let them manifest on the page as their unique and interesting selves. Carys so beautifully did just that – and I hope to see her wearing her finished Kuba Kaftan at our next workshop!

Posted May 22nd, 2011

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