I started this blog to catalogue my discoveries about, and journey with, all things silk. From its natural properties to its interaction with dyes, I have become fascinated with this fibre which I own little of, but often think on. In my short time spent in the blogosphere, I have uncovered an enormous and overwhelming amount of inspiration about other things I love that drew me to silk in the first place. Pattern, colour, method, form. I am remembering the insatiable thirst I had for all things beautiful and tactile when I was a young adult. A thirst I progressively abandoned as I was encouraged to 'get real' about life as I moved into adulthood. Over a decade in adulthood and I wonder why I pulled myself away, ignored my instincts, focused on other people's idea of success and security. Such musings are strongest when I come across the kind of beauty and awe that is the subject of this current blog. The spark was lit, as it often is, with an image.
When I first saw this image I did not see the beautiful woman or the amazing artwork of a dress. I saw a swimmingly hypnotising pattern. My attention was instantly had. And the more I looked, the more I loved. This is the amazing work of Anne Sofie Madsen, a 2009 Danish Academy of Fine Arts graduate who has trained under John Galliano for Dior in Paris before moving to London to work for Alexander McQueen as Junior Designer.
According to the website the theme for Anne's collections change, yet the vision stays the same: A wish to show the well-known through the un-known and to use traditional handcraft methods and couture techniques within ready-to-wear. Anne Sofie Madsen experiments with materials such as leather applied to a fine mesh base, built-up collars with unconventional patterns, and hand-drawn illustrations printed digitally (to my delight) on silk or wool fabrics. The consistent play with contrasts and materials creates a look of mixed toughness and fragility to each design.
As if these first few feats of inspiration weren't enough, I further discovered Anne's beautiful illustrations. Not only beautiful, but full of personality.
At a recent open day for a university I am considering extending my textile ambitions through, a member of the faculty said that there are two kinds of 'fabric people': the fashion people and the pattern people. While I would have to categorise myself undeniably as a 'pattern people', I don't think I can be satisfied with the patterns in the absence of the fabric on which it is married. When I see images like the ones above, I know where my love for the fabric spills over into the world of fashion.