Best known for her inventive fusion of painting with architecture and sculpture, Katharina Grosse creates intensely coloured, immersive work using an industrial spray gun. Then there’s menswear designer Julian Zigerli, a relative newcomer who quickly made his mark on the Berlin fashion scene with his eruptive prints and witty designs, and was recently selected by Mr. Giorgio Armani to show his collection at the Armani/Teatro during Milan Menswear Fashiow Week in January. Something in common in Zigerli’s and Grosse’s love for colour? Apparently so: as soon as he discovered Grosse’s work, Zigerli knew that he wanted to work with her. “I just happened upon an image of one of her installations online, and pinned it on to my mood board. It became clear to me then that the best person for making the prints would be Katharina herself.”
That image soon became the basis for an entire collection which will be debuted during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin this July. The process of making it in Grosse’s Berlin studio involved canvases – some linen, some human – protective masks, and a spray gun, as prototypes of Zigerli’s
SS14 collection underwent the Grosse treatment (seen here). The resulting colour explosions were
then digitally scanned and translated into the prints that will adorn the garments.
What’s special about this collaboration is the way in which artistic practice and fashion design transgress the boundaries between the two. “For me, both share a connection of the visual with the lusted-after,” says Grosse. “It doesn’t matter for me if the person wearing the collection understands my art. The collection will circulate as fashion, and what’s behind it or, in this case, printed on to it might not even be questioned.”
The collection will be entitled “At The End Of The World To The Left” and centres on Grosse’s painting process, as well as evaporation and optical phenomena like mirage, which, for the silhouettes and fabrics, means light, almost translucent materials and airy gaps in the cuts. Also, the collaboration isn’t conceived to run in limited editions, but rather an entire collection – a decision that Zigerli eagerly supports: “When you opt for a limited edition, you’re distinguishing the product as an ‘artwork’ rather than a garment. The idea behind my collaborations with artists is to meet in the middle of the road and travel a new path together.” To somewhere over the rainbow, by the look of things.
Click the image gallery to view some exlusive “making of” images!