I became inspired to create these pieces after finding several huge, half-finished canvas paintings on the side of the road. The instant appeal was the rich blacks and stormy grey colours of these canvases. Once unfolded I was fascinated with the ghost-like images. They were at once creepy and beautiful. Huge mysterious half-formed apparitions in my colour palette- what could be better? Once I washed them they took on another appearance- the images became softer and mottled, which added even more of a patina to the canvases.
The images were so moving and mysterious- they appealed to me because they were curious. I wondered who painted them and why. They were also fascinatingly beautiful- I could have hung them on my wall.
There was enough canvas to create four jackets (the number of completeness). Four, one-of-a-kind jackets in four sizes. The finding the canvas, the number of jackets; it all seemed so obvious.
As a 'counter' to the found and grungy material, I created a pattern that was formal, for me at least, and very tailored. I used French and covered seams throughout the jackets. (although one is completely 'raw' and should age differently) On pieces like this, regular store-bought buttons just don't cut it. I have been making my own buttons from discarded leather and these were perfect to finish the jackets with.
Found materials have an inherent charm that can never be replicated. I believe the use of reclaimed materials is the pinnacle of sustainable fashion because nothing is being made. The use of any manufactured material has an impact on the planet- organic or not. Tread lightly? This is zero treading. Reverse treading even. Upcycling is even better than recycling because less energy is being consumed.
I like that the fabric was found and has a unique history, that they are one-off, hand-made and come with deep sense of mystery. For me, these jackets represent everything I see as important when it comes to creating clothes.
Who was the artist? Why did he create these big mysterious paintings? Why were they discarded? That fascinates me.