Dries Van Noten, Paris Exhibition

Paris is a city that takes fashion seriously. They respect the couture houses which have established themselves over decades, creating or even engulfing a designer's career (go and see Yves Saint Laurent if you haven't already, as indulgently beautiful a film as it could be). Speeding through the tunnel on the Eurostar, the evidence was there before I'd even sipped my Earl Grey, looking at the cover of their Metropolitan magazine.

I may have snaffled a copy because the journey went so quickly I didn't get chance to read it all!

I may have snaffled a copy because the journey went so quickly I didn't get chance to read it all!

On my wish list to see whilst I was in Paris was the Dries Van Noten exhibition at the musée des Arts décoratifs.  Happily I got to spend a good chunk of time there as it really is a feast for the eyes, I felt totally saturated by the colours and rich textures by the time I left.

This is the first exhibition devoted entirely to the Belgian artist's work, shows us his inspirations and processes allowing us to peer into the mind of the designer. As well as the fashion collections the exhibition has sourced some amazing paintings and pieces to demonstrate the broad references the designer draws upon.


There are many paintings by famous fine artists featured alongside the garments giving a sense of the depth of the ideas and a sense of creativity that goes into the collections. The use of portraits was interesting as clothing is such a personal thing. Selecting your most worn/favourite outfit and displaying it on a mannequin in a gallery could be just as personal and revealing (or more so) as with sitting for a portrait.

 

You can see directly how the styles and techniques of the artists have influenced the fashion work and what makes them more than just clothing. The way they were displayed as well is an all encompassing world of colour and patterns that grows over walls, floors and ceilings so with each section you are immersed completely. With this exhibition the aim really does seem to be an experience in Fashion as Art.

I loved the way they used these life-size photographs of Francis Bacon's studio. The paint splattered surroundings bleed into the mannequins associating them with their freedom of expression and creativity.

Happy Museum Week! Whether near or far, go and see something new, old, or a mixture of the two and be inspired!

Luxury In Progress

I was recently visited by a team from the fantastic website Luxury In Progress. They spent some time with me in the studio to learn about my processes and discover how I translate my ideas into reality. Rather than just covering the latest trends or focusing on a finished product their interest lies in showing "Design, Fabrication, innovation..." Here are some photos from their visit shot by Alice Balas, you can read the full interview  by Louise Benson on their site here: Luxury In Progress

Here I am with one of my mineral books looking at structures. My favourites are the 70s ones with illustrations and matt prints in great colours.

Here I am with one of my mineral books looking at structures. My favourites are the 70s ones with illustrations and matt prints in great colours.

Choosing some materials, I use lots of different organic and found objects in my work I love collecting things and experimenting with my stash.

Choosing some materials, I use lots of different organic and found objects in my work I love collecting things and experimenting with my stash.

Smashing up a geode full of hidden treasure! I didn't know what this would be like inside until I broke into it.

Smashing up a geode full of hidden treasure! I didn't know what this would be like inside until I broke into it.

Seeing how I could use the fragments.

Seeing how I could use the fragments.

The big sink, getting clean water to clean up my pieces.

The big sink, getting clean water to clean up my pieces.

A lot of my time is spent carving, shaping and sanding the objects that I cast. I can fill in and sand back several times, waiting for  them to dry and cure in between. For this reason I work on a few pieces over a time adding and working back into them so they develop organically.

A lot of my time is spent carving, shaping and sanding the objects that I cast. I can fill in and sand back several times, waiting for  them to dry and cure in between. For this reason I work on a few pieces over a time adding and working back into them so they develop organically.

When I'm happy with the final shape there is some hand polishing to achieve whatever surface finish I want on the piece. The very glossy ones take a lot of elbow grease to get a perfect shine working through grades of buffers and are finally coated in a protective wax.

When I'm happy with the final shape there is some hand polishing to achieve whatever surface finish I want on the piece. The very glossy ones take a lot of elbow grease to get a perfect shine working through grades of buffers and are finally coated in a protective wax.

Ready to wear!

Ready to wear!

Luxury In Progress are currently nominated for the AWWWards which recognises design & creativity on the internet! Check out their site for more practitioners and pioneering materials and processes to find out what's new in the creative world: www.luxuryinprogress.com

If you would like to visit the studio email me at info@jademellor.com. I'm based in Manchester City Centre, by Piccadilly Station and Northern Quarter.