Collaboration is a long-standing fashion tradition. The partnership between designer and muse, or artist, or musician, has been a powerful creative force in the fashion industry and in recent years this trend is moving towards collaborations of more unlikely sorts. Nowhere is the fusion of structure and fashion more evident than in architecture and interior design. Witness Comme des Garcons’ pod-like art space developed by Future Systems for their Chelsea, New York store, Marni’s world of metallic dreams in London, developed in collaboration with Sybarite, and Miuccia Prada’s vision of the future retail store in Tokyo, realized through Herzog and de Meuron. Music continues to play an important role as more and more recording artists partner with fashion houses to define their identity and become brands. Artists including Eve, Eminem, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani, Thalia, and JLo are capitalizing on their brand image to create fashion lines. Gibo designer and illustrator Julie Verhoeven created the cover of the new “Some Velvet Morning” single CD by Primal Scream which features Kate Moss’ debut as a singer. Exhibitions such as Impakt2003 are festivals where artists, musicians and fashion designers collaborate to create political platforms and incorporate fashion as a means to establish one’s identity and determine social and political positions. The two hot collaborators of the moment are Hamish Morrow and Neil Barrett. Morrow has leaped into the fashion future by using real-time digital feed and interpretive imagery created by Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton-Jones along with multimedia artists UVA in projecting images onto models to create virtual clothing and fabric prints on the runway. Morrow also just designed a line of hats for Kangol. Neil Barrett signed on as creative director for a new MTV Italy reality show called Fashion House. The premise is to find Europe’s hottest new young designer. Barrett is also working with Puma to develop a new collection ranging from technical and lifestyle sportswear to high-end clothing, along with accessories and shoes. Kim Jones is also in on the collaboration party having just designed a collection of glasses for ABSOLUT DETAILS, a creative initiative from Absolut. Whether these partnerships are authentic creative collaboration or simply a marketing initiative, the results are yielding dynamic new possibilities.
- Waleed Khairzada
Photo: Julie Verhoeven’s cover art for Primal
Scream’s “Some Velvet Morning” single CD