Anne-Sofie Madsen’s 2009 graduate collection from The Danish Design School has been getting a lot of attention. Madsen’s describes of her collection:
In traditional Maori art the most dominant, mythical motif is the ›avianised man‹ or ›bird-woman‹. The most important visual art forms are plaiting, relief carving and tattoo. My idea in this collection was to combine (and confront) this with classic, European clothing – in order to express the contrasts and borders between what we see as primitive/civilized, exotic/classic and barbaric/elegant. My idea was not to create bird suits or folk costumes and I decided not to use feathers in the garments and to ›translate‹ the traditional materials of the Maori. I used shoelaces instead of flax strips and exchanged tattooed skin with leather applied on invisible tulle.
For me, there exists a fine line between being inspired by a marginalized culture of people and fetishizing them. For that reason, I was cautious when I heard about a European design student who based her collection from the aesthetic traditions of the Maori people. After reading Madsen’s statement and seeing her designs, however, it seems like her inspiration has been gracefully applied. These look like valid translations that required a delicate maneuver of skill and imagination. I found the sketches just as interesting, if not more, than the collection itself, images after the jump:
<via Coute Que Coute>