Posted by: Necci – Jun 11, 2012
Fashion designer Angela Bacskocky has been working for a while on a project called Nest, which was intended to merge fashion and fine art into a multi-disciplinary exploration of particular themes. Those themes, as expressed on Bacskocky's website, revolved around "isolation and hibernation, [...] the animal instinct to burrow and hide away, which is simultaneously comfortable and claustrophobic." The way that the clothing she intended to produce would reflect these themes was outlined on her website: "The fabrics and silhouettes reference the natural skins and warm furs that we shelter ourselves with; the structures we painstakingly build out of bricks and wood; the dichotomy of the leaf and the feather, the branch and the bone, the nest and the cage. The female form is followed closely, being hugged and protected by her garments, with gentle folds of fabric allowing generous space for her to hide away. Only natural fibers will be used: wool, leather, shearling, silk, cotton, and feathers. The prints used will be organically developed around each piece and screen printed by hand."
Using the crowd-funding website Kickstarter, Bacskocky requested pledges from the community to help make a fashion exhibit displaying her Autumn/Winter 2012 Nest clothing line. Receiving pledges from 85 different backers, she was able to surpass her goal, allowing the Nest Fashion Exhibition to become a reality on April 27 at Candela Gallery in Richmond. The exhibit featured models dressed in Bacskocky's clothing designs, who were perched at various points around the gallery, along with objects such as animal bones and pieces of wood. Photographs by Sarah Walor, from the Nest's upcoming lookbook, were on display in the second room of the gallery, while the main Nest sculpture, by Leigh Ruble, occupied a central position in the front room. Musicians Anousheh Khalili and Christina Gleixner, who were briefly joined by Antonia Fisher Duke, performed ambient music in the second room as models moved one by one over the course of the evening from their various perches to add found objects brought from their areas of the gallery to be added to the Nest.
Todd Raviotta, our intrepid staff photographer, was on hand to capture this entire event, mingling his distinctive photoanimation technique with short, affecting live footage of the musicians at the climactic moment of their performance. To watch the video is to observe an evening that comes across far more like an immersive multimedia performance piece than a mere fashion exhibition. Between the melancholy ambient music and the construction and augmentation of the central sculpture by the models, a powerful mood is created. Having never been that much of a fashion connoisseur myself, I didn't expect anything put together mainly to display a clothing line to reach me, but I found Todd's documentation of the Nest exhibition to be both aesthetically and emotionally affecting. I would particularly like to draw your attention to the integration of the musical performance, with non-chronological still photographs of the musicians periodically inserted into the photoanimation, and a recording of their performance acting as the soundtrack. It's an excellent document of a fascinating and unique live artistic experience. Believe me, even if, like me, fashion's not really your thing, you should definitely check it out:
Bacskocky is currently putting the finishing touches on the Nest lookbook, which should be available in the near future. You can keep up with her progress on facebook and tumblr, and check out her previous collections and designs at her website, angelabacskocky.com.
Words by Andrew Necci
Video by Todd Raviotta
Still Images by Sarah Walor