Wearable Art – Some Art is Meant to be Worn
Just as art on the walls of your home or office personalizes your space, wearable art customizes your appearance. It announces to the world you are not a slave to fashion; you are a trendsetter.
Eschew the buying-off-the-rack mentality and stave off the fashion doldrums with hand-made garments, purses, hats, scarves and jewellery.
Patricia Richardson is a Canadian textile artist and the lead organizer of London’s fall Wearable Art Sale which brings together a passel of individual crafters including five listed below.
Richardson studied fashion design, fabric design, embroidery and millinery at various institutions. She pursued a career as a costume designer before narrowing her focus a few years ago to hats and accessories.
Richardson built her creations from the bottom on up. She dyes and paints fabrics and then, working from her own patterns and designs, cuts and manipulates them into shapes. These she embellishes with beading, embroidery and pleating to create unique pieces of wearable art.
Mary Louise White is a woman of many talents. When she applies her considerable skills to the process of making jewellery, something magical happens. Working with glass, White conjures one-of-a-kind pendants and earrings that shimmer and shine.
Jessie Gussack’s Jersey Lovey label was born when the designer wanted something fun to wear. She made her first infinity scarf and soon found everyone wanted one. Gussack works from a range of fabrics to create fluid pieces that add a dash of colour to any ensemble.
Feeling buggy? Debra Jeffries of Debra’s Divine Designs produces recycled, genuine butterfly and insect wing pendants, earrings and more. Her ethically farmed butterfly and insect specimens are purchased from a licensed supplier. Jeffries also uses a variety of recycled metals in her pieces including sterling silver and copper wire.
Lisa and Pete Wright of Wright by Design are business – as well as life – partners. They channel Peter’s 25 years as a master furrier and Lisa’s fashion and theatrical wardrobe background into the creation of up-cycled fur hats and bags and fur-trimmed clothing.
Jeanne-Marie Urbach, who produces colourful scarves and knit shawls, describes her work as running the gamut from practical to zany. She is inspired by nature and fabric. Says Urbach: “Wearable art appeals to my practical side while allowing for limitless creativity.”
Wandering away from the Wearable Art Sale gang, one finds Colleen Turner and Anne-Marie Chagnon.
Turner, of Part Crow Custom Handmade Jewelry, addresses her own love of shiny things by working with sterling silver, pewter, semi-precious stones, shell and coral, as well as pearls and crystals from all over the world to produce finely crafted jewellery.
Montreal-based designer Chagnon’s work can be seen in London at the Framing and Art Centre. Her playful pewter, wood, resin and glass pieces have a decidedly primitive feel. Some are designed to be transformed at the whim of the wearer from necklace to bracelet to earrings – the ultimate tribute to personal expression.
There you have it, eight innovative ways to express yourself in style in 2014 – with a little help from Canadian artisans. Now that’s an easy resolution to keep