Black Barbara

Wednesday, 3 August 2011
Beauty in the black...
 Stumbling around the internet must be a design dorks favourite pastime. It really is a deep dark tunnel of creative pulling’s with inspiration and innovative stimulational stop offs along the way. Sometimes I get so deep into it hours fly by and I am spoilt for choice with all the tabs I have collected in my net window. Happily smug and proud of all the designer smut I’ve found I save the links and feel secretly satisfied with the days lurch into the interweb. However, the days I find gems I end up flying, researching the designer/ artist/ photographer I have discovered till I know their every artistic internet stepping stone. My problem is... black and white always sucks me in.

Today I discovered Danish designer Barbara i Gongini. Oh hell.

“In 2009, Danish designer Barbara i Gongini was one of the ten up-and-comers who presented a sustainable collection for Bright Green Fashion, a collaborative project of designers from Berlin and Copenhagen who are striving for greater environmental and social responsibility within fashion production. While Gongini’s environmental concerns have remained in place after the project — the fabrics are made with mostly organic fibers, the production is all fair-trade, and recycling, sustainability, and safer production methods are among her central concerns — there’s no washed-up hippie aesthetics here.” - Oakazine

Barbara’s designs are rough but sleek. To me her designs are Alice in Wonderland meet The Ring. They’re uncomfortable and unnatural yet beautiful. The darkness makes her designs seem slightly sinister yet the styling makes the look demure. Bold shapes and rich textures in a limited palette of greys. But the clothes do, somehow, look recycled — the collection’s pastiche of asymmetric structures and textures (waxy tulle and canvas, trash-bag irridescent blacks, knotted plastic knits, sculptural and tattered furs) recall a sort of post-apocalytpic re-piecing of found textiles that is both haphazard and deliberate.  And her peep-toe pumps and simple black brogues adorned with clusters of oversized rubber spikes are made to last, but covered with a paint that will deliberately crack and wear over time, adding to the eerie distressed and futuristic feel.

Her work, design, styling and photography is art, shadowy art. I love it.


PS. There is further to go in the darkness.


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