Kat Marks

Today we had a lecture from Kat Marks.

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“Kat Marks is a creative leader in fashion enterprise and design. Creativity lies in the heart of her work. Creation itself embodies all forms of research, design, and craft. The result of interlacing these elements form the core of her practice – the communication of idea through visual media.

As a designer, Marks uses craftsmanship to translate idea into physical form. Central to craft is material, which Marks chooses for its intrinsic properties. Each object is developed with a purpose, a reason beyond static quality.

Marks is excited to engage in a dialogue with the viewer by illuminating and expanding an idea using visual media, photograph and film. As a creative director, she strives to provoke dialogue between the audience and her work by 

providing an emotional, and intellectually stimulating visual experience.

Kat Marks is originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Design in Fashion Design from Toronto’s Ryerson University and a Master of Arts in Fashion Artefact from London College of Fashion.

Currently Marks’ practice is based in London, United Kingdom.

KAT MARKS,  Creative Leader for Fashion Enterprise.

 

She talked to us all about her work, in preparation for a leather workshop that we will have tomorrow. It was really interesting seeing the design process from the perspective of someone working in really different materials to what i’m used to all, as well as a totally different field; Kat’s work is more focused on fashion and the textile side of things.
So i thought i’d share some of her wonderful work with ya’ll!
Dame of Thrones
If i ever wanted body armor, i know who i would go to!
The Granfalloon
My current project, “The Granfalloon”, could be defined as an avant-garde fashion film. It features a colour palette that includes beige, muted grey and murky dusty rose, muted shades compared to the previous project. For this project we worked with HD cameras along with post-production techniques to create interesting visuals, but I think that the best thing about this new venture is that it has allowed me to build a team of professionals interested in discovering how to create fashion visuals that can move an audience. As you can see from the film there are two thigh flaps that brace the inner thigh. These flaps have activated some controversial conversation for what regards their purpose and their statement as some people said they had a sort of phallic shape. The Perspex, leather and resin harness and pelvic girdle weren’t actually meant to represent this, but I realised they sparked an interesting dialogue and some people called the design ‘cod piece’, ‘chastity belt’ or ‘fashion diaper’. I hope I’ll be able to come up with more thought-provoking pieces in future.” Kat Marks
The term “Granfalloon” was taken from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, “Cat’s Cradle” and means “a group of people who imagine they have a connection that does not really exist.
Watch the film:
Infundibulum
Inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s novel “The Sirens of Titan”. Infundibulum is a “place in the universe where different types of truth fit together”. This collection is based on Kat’s experience of having to wear a scoliosis brace during her teens to correct the shape of her spine.
Her work is not a shout for attention, it isn’t supposed to be an awareness for the condition, it is more about the forms and shapes and materials. She uses rigid, strong materials, like plastics, to create fantastic forms and in turn pieces that affect the posture of the one wearing them. Her work calls into mind a history of fashion, all through time women have endured multitudes of pain and suffering to comply with the constructs of fashion and her work states that that time is not at all over.
Watch the film here: Infundibulum
I am particularly drawn to this piece. The contrast of the shocking shiny red, and the sensuous flow of the curves with the rigidness of the form. It’s beautiful.
No Man’s Land
The Karass
This collection was inspired and named after a term in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, “Cat’s Cradle“. “Karass” means “group of people who, often unknowingly, are working together to do God’s will.” Marks also took themes of humanity’s mysticism and its complexity, from Vonnegut’s novels.
Watch the film:
The New Ambrosian
This is Kat’s first collection for men, and features pieces that are interesting hybrid between a bolo tie and a cravat that immediately call up images of The Wild West.
Watch the film here: The New Ambrosian
Yugas Elder
This collection, referred to as “the softer side of Kat”, is my favourite out of her work. Not just the pieces, themselves, but i really really love the accompanying film.
The black and white stop-motion film is concerned primarily with narrative through gesture. The fact that the faces of the Yugas women are covered draws your attention to gesture and physical movement. Although through viewing body form, the facelessness and almost totally covered up nature of the bodies allows the viewer to assign gender roles onto the individual characters and in effect leaves them genderless. The stop-motion, along with the clothing itself, also aids in humanizing the gestures but at the same time de-humanizing the models, with the jumps and twitches made all the more obvious they characters become a little more alien.
Watch the film here: Yugas Elder
Isn’t her work fantastic?
I’m looking forward to learning about leather with her tomorrow in the workshop!
Chloe out.
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