Elizabeth Hawes was a fashion designer and critic of the 30’s, 40’s and well into the 20th century who wrote a book called “Why is a Dress?” and is known for a particular quote that reads
“It is impossible to be completely abstract about clothes because they have no life unless they are worn. They must fit onto a body or they do not exist.”
I thought I would respond with showing you fashion designer Lee McQueen creating a wedding dress through a process of deconstruction in his signature style while Nick Knight films him. Contrasts abound of the sinister in white. Materials get stripped down to a lonely affair of imprisonment and loss. Very powerful, darkly poetic, removed from typical wearable constructs and expressive through and through. The title of Lee’s piece The Bridegroom Stripped Bare is in reference to Marcel Duchamp’s the hard- to- decipher The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelor’s, Even done between 1915-23 which can be analyzed in the category of male and female sexual conflicts. (see first image above)
Dark or light the power of deconstruction in design can inform the artist on how to construct new design. It is a very useful strategy for shaping and arranging form towards innovation.
Stay tuned for more on “Why is a dress?”