THE ART OF
In the hands of the daring, getting dressed can be as much of an art form as weaving, photography or painting.
You may not be able to draw, but getting dressed is just as valid a form of expression, and has the same ability to comfort or disturb, make a point or start a conversation.
As a keen observer of the art world, I can’t help but be drawn to clothing and accessories covered in colourful and textural designs that look as if they’re painted directly on to the garment.
In recent years, gestural and painterly prints have become a mainstay of many New Zealand designer ranges. Boutique designers may not be able to buy the meterage of fabric required to secure a textile exclusively from a fabric importer, so rather than risk a double-up with another designer, they develop them in-house or in collaboration with an artist. After all, print is the perfect vehicle for conveying a season’s theme.
New Zealand-born Australia-based artist and musician Reg Mombassa is behind the cheeky print on the Rollas beach shorts, while LaLA designer Sarah-Jane Duff was drawn to the energy of Alice Sparrow’s painting Fizzy Drink, which she fashioned into pants, dresses and tops, as part of her summer range of “fatshion”.
Then there’s Kowtow, which has collaborated with Australian watercolour artist and textile designer Lauren Cassar for the print on this sarong, part of the brand’s newly released sustainable swimwear range.
In a carefully curated wardrobe there’s room for a touch of colour or an expressive print.
Kowtow Lines shirt , $239
Ingrid Starnes bikini top, $159
LaLA hat, $120
Juliette Hogan cami, $299
One Teaspoon pants, $189
Ksubi Scribbles men’s shirt, $165