Harper's Bazaar June 2018 - Page 46

Bazaar STYLE & No longer just an after-school project, the collage is getting a high-fashion makeover. We asked some of our favourite visual artists to create their own works, inspired by this season’s biggest runway trends. The internet is a dynamic space that allows for much innovation and creation. In this online world, Instagram has gained prominence as a visual playground for millions of users, particularly artists. The app has opened up previously inaccessible channels for those looking to reach industry leaders, new audiences, and new sources of inspiration. An interesting trend to emerge out of Instagram is the rise of the collage. For the past few years, the playful medium that lived in scrapbooks has made a comeback in a big way, especially in fashion. This art form is increasingly being used by designers and brands to create lookbooks, campaigns, and other visual identities. Brands such as Chanel, Stella McCartney, and Céline have all worked with collage at some point, and most recently, both Coach and Kenzo used the technique for their Spring/Summer 2018 campaign imagery. One possible reason for the emergence of the collage is the excessive visual matter in our daily lives, much of it coming from advertising and media. Fashion imagery, in particular, is a rich source of material for collage artists who mix and match elements from various sources to create surreal new worlds that play with fashion’s more fantastical side. By simply taking an image out of its original context 46 and placing it in a new setting, collage artists can tell their own version of a story and make the image evoke an entirely new response in a viewer. Another reason why collage is attractive to artists is the wide scope it offers for experimentation and collaboration, and the fact that it allows each artist to develop their own distinct style. Besides, there’s also the undeniable appeal of not being bound to a specific palette or structure and the medium’s general no-rules, DIY-style aesthetic. Collage bridges the gap between analogue and digital, giving artists a relatively easy art form through which to explore multiple themes at one go. To celebrate the medium, we’ve asked four visual artists to create their own unique works interpreting Spring/Summer 2018’s most exciting trends. From Sarah Kaushik’s experiments with vintage imagery to graphic designer Ayesha Kapadia’s optical illusions or even California-based collage artist Patrick Keohane’s homage to checks, the future of this incredible medium definitely looks promising. As Jean-Luc Godard says, “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.” The writer is founder of the newsletter The Alipore Post, and editor of Design Fabric, an art and design publication. By Rohini Kejriwal