Wearable works of art;
Only this time, with a cause.
We have often heard of the term wearable art to convey an artist’s deepest and often wildly creative or visually stunning pieces of clothing. However, in the case of Johny Dar, international artist and designer, his wearable art comes with a cause at New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
The world is currently undergoing a major refugee crisis, one of the largest of its time. Offering a live viewing of his “Jeans for Refugees” line, Dar showcases his wearable art movement. With an inventive and path breaking array of designs that both express and experience his artistry, the collaboration for a cause is unparalleled. Putting the hallmark of clothing on the line, literally, the collection was based on the world’s love for denim, which I have proven undead forever.
One hundred celebrities donated a pair of their jeans to the movement, to be painted by Dar. These are available for an online auction on this site, and will be exhibited in the Saatchi Gallery in London from 24-30 October 2016. When the bid closes, proceeds will be donated to the International Rescue Committee to help refugees worldwide. It is truly inspiring to think that what began as Dar’s personal passion project grew to become a global campaign, which continues to grow, raise awareness and inspire via a compelling message.
Getting celebrities to donate their prized denim from their vaults, the redesign in specks of shimmering paint elevated the jeans to literally wearable art, all one of a kind. The show was echoed by the voice of Polly A, with a metaphorical finale of ‘Ghetto Gold Dream’ showcasing the fight for survival and the courage to win.
The show featured enviable jeans from closets that many would do anything to peak into. Womenswear included Alicia Vikander, Anna Wintour, Candice Swanepoel, Chanel Iman, Claudia Schiffer, Elle MacPherson, Emma Watson, Eva Longoria, Florence Welch, Karlie Kloss, Karolina Kurkova, Kate Moss, Rachel McAdams, Shannon Elizabeth, Sharon Stone, Sofia Coppola, Tuppence Middleton, Twiggy and Victoria Beckham.
Some of the menswear adorned by Adonis bodices had jeans by Benicio del Toro, Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Styles, Jamie Theakston, Joaquin Phoenix, Nicholas Hoult, Ozzy Osbourne, Tom Waits, Guillaume Nery and Usher. Many audience members wandered in guessing who’s fit was best for who’s body, and it made for a fun game of assessing hip proportions.
Apart from jeans, the runway showcased Dar’s couture dresses, gowns, and particularly interesting cutwork jackets in preying mantis style designs. A pomegranate hued gown and a snakeskin tone jacket were particular highlights.
As was a black mesh and metal dress with gold metal studs, and another with black zippers and a blend of leather and silk.
The cuts were innovative, and it only made the cause of pairing these with the denim even more noble. And curiously enough, even these couture items are up for auction, with proceeds to be donated to the A Big Heart Foundation.
Overall, it was a pleasure to see a fashion show with a root cause at heart, something several designers have tried off late including Ricardo Seco and a plethora of debutantes at Made by Milk. Johny Dar demonstrated how fashion and couture can be channeled towards fulfilling a very current and pressing issue at hand. And in doing so, he did not compromise on the art or fashion, but created memorable wearable art that both communicated and convinced onlookers of its power to make a difference.
Truly, wearable works of art,
Only this time, with a cause.