When we were in New York I was so excited to see this exhibition Dead or Alive at the Museum of Arts and Design: 30 artists who use a variety of organic materials in their works. We’re talking intricate fairy worlds constructed out of dead flies, a working motorcycle made from cow bones and rugs woven out the fur from dead mice. Super-thrilled to see Jennifer Angus‘ Victorian beetle house: Angus and her family were big contributors to the Textile Museum of Canada, where I used to work. Angus prints gorgeous wallpaper using exotic beetles (but sustainably found) and patterns inspired by winged and creepy-crawly friends.
Anyway, the exhibition was morbidly beautiful, even if it did, at times, smell slightly like death. One of my favourites in the show was Nick Cave’s performance Soundsuits, which he makes out of wood, fun fur, afghans, toys, sticks, old socks, etc. And now, the fashion world is enjoying them as well, in an eight-page spread in Vogue. Cave, who is the Fashion Design Department Chair at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, models several of his suits in the spread, as well as the season’s accessories from Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and the like. Always happy to see that fashion-art intersection, especially when it’s so beautifully done.