Birds of a Feather: Why Designers are Flocking to Kate MccGwire


1996277Kate1

Photo Credit: Tessa Angus

When the directors of MoMu, Belgium’s leading fashion museum, contacted British artist Kate MccGwire to ask her to produce work for its 2014 “Birds of Paradise: Plumes & Feathers in Fashion” exhibition, she thought they were joking. But when they turned up to meet with her in London, she knew this was the real deal. They asked her to do an installation at the museum in Antwerp, which would complement the gowns on show by designers including Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Thierry Mugler.

1996277Kate2

Photo Credit: A. Brattell

So, why her? The former interior designer decided to change her career after the birth of her second child and returned to university to study fine art. She graduated with her MA from the prestigious Royal College of Art in 2004, and immediately got down to work, having sold the installation from her graduate show to art-collector (and champion of British artists like Damian Hirst and Tracey Emin) Charles Saatchi. A year later, MccGwire bought a barge on the River Thames, moored on an island on the edge of south-west London and it was there that she started working with feathers. “There was an industrial shed near my studio which had feral pigeons in it. I started picking their feathers up when I was walking to work in the morning but I didn’t know that the birds only molt twice a year,” she explains.

1996277Kate3

Photo Credit: JP Bland

Having realized that she needed significantly more feathers than she could collect, she contacted the owners of racing pigeons and persuaded them to keep the feathers for her. She now uses these in her feather sculptures, which can broadly be split into three categories: framed works, which are the closest to 2D pieces and can be hung on a wall; encased works where the sculpture is enclosed by a glass dome or within a cabinet; and installations, where the sculpture ranges in size, with the biggest being around seven meters in length, sweeping across a floor. Due to the painstaking technique of gluing specifically chosen feathers to a base, most works take around a month to create. And that doesn’t even take into account the months spent preparing the feathers—cleaning them, sorting them by color or style, gluing individual pins to quills—for this MccGwire is lucky to have a team of part-time assistants to help her, “otherwise I’d barely be able to produce anything,” she laughs.

1996277Kate4

Photo Credit: S. Asakawa

The exhibition in Belgium introduced MccGwire’s work to a more fashion-obsessed audience, in particular, the design team at Ann Demeulemeester, who also had work featured in the show. They approached MccGwire and asked her to collaborate with them on their Spring/Summer 2016 collection. She made five individual kid leather pieces with quills on them that went around the neck, a gilet, some jewelry, and her feather fabric designs were used for some of the dresses. “It was great seeing them all going down the catwalk—it was quite an amazing moment.”

1996277Kate5

Photo Credit: JP Bland

Demeulemeester wasn’t the only brand to admire MccGwire’s work. Earlier this year, she was invited to Tokyo to make a number of large installations for the windows of Hermès’ flagship Ginza store. And with serious collectors like Saatchi, Thomas Olbricht, Avery Agnelli, and the design director for Sonia Rykiel championing her work, it won’t be long until the name Kate MccGwire is on everybody’s lips.





Source link

Reply

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This
NBC tries to promote karate for 2020 Olympics, shows taekwondo
Ala. lawyer busted trafficking methamphetamine, 369 grams seized
Former Cuomo aide killed in crash on Long Island Expressway
Critics rip Cuomo plan that combines tax and wage subsidies
Oil prices fall as analysts say August price rally has been overblown
Asian shares slip, dollar stands tall on Fed hike bets
Japan Inc unenthused over Abe's stimulus, BOJ easing: Reuters poll
Facebook can climb more than 20 percent on ad growth: Barron's
Singapore Luxury Real Estate: Back to a Buyer's Market
Sail The Seven Seas With Ease In The Oyster 625 Bandido
The Montblanc Meisterstück Is On Point
The Wining Wines of the 2015 En Primeur Campaign
Can’t believe you ate the whole thing? Blame ‘false hunger’
Lead in NYC tap water is a danger despite quality system
Seattle toddler speaks first words after nearly drowning
Humans first infected Neanderthals with herpes, tuberculosis
Barbra Streisand Tells Apple to Fix Siri's Pronunciation of Last Name
Watch Metallica Debut Punishing 'Hardwired' Live at Minneapolis Concert
Matt Roberts, Original 3 Doors Down Guitarist, Dead at 38
Frank Ocean Reflects on Creating 'Blonde' in Tumblr Posts
Obama wants more choices for consumers using cable boxes
Sanders preaches economic equality at the Vatican
Senator calls out CUNY boss Milliken on campus anti-Semitism
Angry campaign making strange bedfellows out of bedfellows
Basketball Football Other Sports
SEE IT: Softball player pulls off behind-the-back bunt
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s office raided in Moscow
Isola: Phil Jackson no longer the cool, calm man on bench
Mobile Social
How carbon nanotubes could give us faster processors and longer battery life
Facebook’s new teens-only app Lifestage turns bios into video profiles
Looklive helps men shop by mimicking celebs’ styles