Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fashion : Sandra Backlund, the wool sculptor

This week, it is bleating in Mayfair : sheep are mixing with luxury shops. Is it a protest of English farmers ? No, it is London's Wool Week, and this is not a joke. A whole week to celebrate sweaters, scarves, and much more. So, here at the Column, I have decided to dedicate the 3 days remaining until the weekend to wool artists, young talents who have changed the landscape of fashion. A glimpse on Google will give you many names, many extraordinary works, such as Japanese jewellery designer Hisano Takei. But, how can we speak of wool without naming Sandra Backlund ?
 The most famous of the 3 designers I have chosen, the Swedish creator has been spotted first in France, during an international festival of fashion with her impressive dresses, flirting with contemporary sculpture more than with Haute Couture. Not surprising then that the talent-seekers of British Fashion Council's NewGen have run up. Sandra Backlund is an alien. She can make you a sweater out of hair ( yes, hair, yikes !) or of clothespins. But where she excels, it's in the work of wool. Oversized bobbles, geometrical designs, crochet Tuareg clothes, she can do everything.
 Each of her creations are masterpieces, visual miracles. Sure, it must itch a lot, but a skin reaction is nothing compared to the impression you will make in society ... No joke, Backlund's collections are art, which have each very abstruse names, such as 'Last Breath Bruises' or 'Perfect Hurts'. Poetic and mysterious, it's a concept and a statement at the same time. The fabulous clothes are also well-served by very artistic photographies, except for the new one, where the photographer is overindulging in flash.
 Sandra Backlund is now ready for distribution, and I hope that her designs will have the success they deserve. I even encourage contemporary art museums' curators to buy her collections, in order to preserve them for the future. To my mind, it will be more enhancive for our civilization to be associated with Sandra Backlund than with compressed cars. Her clothes are maybe the ones of the future, a world where we will all have flying machines and structured wool overalls. Meanwhile, Lady Gaga knows what to wear this winter. If we don't leapfrog her ...

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