It’s ART!

It’s ART!

I do get a little suspicious at the number of times that people loosely throw around statements such as "It's ART!" when talking about fashion – it has all the intentions of a compliment but to me comes off as sounding slightly hyperbolic and perhaps not what the designer him/herself desires when they are doing collections that at the end of the day need to result in commerce in order to survive.  

Mother Of Pearl By Alistair Guy 14-10-10  004 Mother Of Pearl By Alistair Guy 14-10-10  005

Image004 Image009
(Pics from the collection's launch at Haunch of Vension in London N.B. Is anyone still very much hot on Valentine Fillol Cordier?  There yas go…)

However, when talking about Maia Norman's collections for her label Mother of Pearl, the art/fashion connection is a bit more clearcut considering that Norman is Damien Hirst's other half and can indeed call on Turner Prize-nominees for a little helping hand in her collections.  Every season, she chooses a different artist to collaborate with in her collection.  This season she has worked with Jim Lambie choosing his Acid Perm (2002) work and his Found Flower Painting series, which sees images of John Lennon and Grace Jones meshing with Dutch-style flower oil paintings.  This of course makes for prints that any-floral lover me will fall head over heels for.  Especially when rendered in a tracksuit set that I may have owned when I was seven, complaining to my mum about going to Chinese school on a Saturday and missing Live and Kicking. 


2600_RW_Mother_of_Pearl_S3_045_f1 2600_RW_MOP_S21_071_f1



Alls wells but beyond the prints, the quaffy rollcall of guests that came to the S/S 11 collection launch at Haunch of Venison (to coincide with London's FRIEZE) and the mannequins that came obscured with bouquet heads to emphasise the florals, I'm loving the freshness of the silhouettes that borrows from sportswear and streetwear elements in the best way possible.  In non-printed form, Mother of Pearl turns out parkas with removable hoods and sleeves, loose onsies and shorts with racerback vests all in a luxe nappa leather in shades of navy, yellow and deep deep aubergine that give the prints a firm foundation to stand on.  The leather caps are a collaboration with Justin Smith Esquire that finish off the luxe sportswear trail that I think the label can bank on. 


This parka in particular is sexy leathery jelly goodness… and definitely in need of being girlified with some sort of tulle/chiffon thing coming asunder underneath…


2600_RW_MOP_S14_010_F1 2600_RW_MOP_S6_026_F1

I'm particularly loving the collection's new accessories introduction with the 'Dry Bag' which is another affirmation for me, that a backpack isn't just a seasonal gimmick for women to relive school days but an essential practical staple.

2600_RW_MOP_S8_163_f1 2600_RW_MOP_S11_005_f1

This ensemble basically sums up what I want to be looking like for a fair amount of the summer – bedecked in fruity/buttery leather and faded florals. 




Leave a comment
  1. Jo

    2010-10-16 at 1:23 PM

    Very similar to my friends site…

  2. LULU

    2010-10-16 at 1:51 PM



    2010-10-16 at 2:55 PM

    I do really like the simplicity & purity of Maria Norman’s work!
    What you say about art & fashion seems right to me but I think designers have always had a very tight link with artists & contemporary art, just as Norman has, what I mean is that it doesn’t make her particularly special!
    Especially when considering how commercial Hirst can be.
    Great post. Food for thought 🙂

  4. katherine

    2010-10-16 at 4:34 PM

    Wow I’m a little embarrassed never having heard Norman’s name before, considering how much I’ve grappled with Hirst’s work.
    The last look is definitely my favourite here, the lose leather shorts & cycling shorts look a bit odd, just how I want proportions to be right now.

  5. Nickie Frye

    2010-10-16 at 4:37 PM

    I dislike the outfit in the last photo, but I’m in love with the floral jumpsuit & those eyeball pants! The blue leather jacket is really interesting & fresh.

  6. Penny Dreadful Vintage

    2010-10-16 at 4:51 PM

    I’m with you on the parka, particularly the yellow one with the scoop neck – a very elegant detail on a not usually elegant item of clothing. The floral trackie set is also fab.

  7. susie_bubble

    2010-10-16 at 4:56 PM

    Ginger Fashion Monsters: You’re right of course… I guess what I meant to say is that it gets a bit boorish when you hear designers being proclaimed as ‘art’ when that isn’t really the designer’s intention at all…
    Of course Norman isn’t the only one to link the two genres by ANY means… and yes, Hirst’s work is definitely pumped up with commerce.

  8. snappy

    2010-10-16 at 5:02 PM

    I am really liking the combination of prints and unusual selection of colour choices. The jumpsuit is eye catching without being too much and the blue parka could turn into a must have this upcoming season. Very snappy.
    snappy x

  9. jaderdavila pajama as streetwear

    2010-10-16 at 6:10 PM

    i loved the blue coat.
    is it some treatment made on the leather?
    like plastic?
    is it waterproof for rain?

  10. Stylista

    2010-10-16 at 8:42 PM

    I think “art” is an acceptable word to call certain kinds of fashion. But if it’s not the designers intention, then of course we must be mindful. I love all the leather pieces in these photos.

  11. Gilded Thrones

    2010-10-16 at 8:56 PM

    That floral jumpsuit looks like the rompers Kmart used to sell back in the early ’90’s for elementary school aged children.

  12. Christel

    2010-10-16 at 10:10 PM

    I love the prints, the flowers above all and the flowered heads too !

  13. Annie Spandex

    2010-10-16 at 10:16 PM

    If that tracksuit is a two-piece, I’d wear the heck out of both pieces..

  14. Jessi Lou

    2010-10-16 at 10:48 PM

    Is that Allison Mosshart in the top sequence?? Love her.

  15. Fé

    2010-10-17 at 11:34 AM

    This looks so crazy! Especially the Flowerprints. Me loves them!

  16. Christopher

    2010-10-17 at 4:37 PM

    That Jumpsuit is soo great. WOW.

  17. giancinephile

    2010-10-17 at 4:51 PM

    Now, that’s some kind of liaison with the art house crowd- the Turner prize nominees! haha

  18. Lucy

    2010-10-18 at 4:32 AM

    I am head over heels (haha so puny) with the shoes, especially the ones in the 2nd pic.
    Tell I can get my paws on them

  19. X Alex

    2010-10-20 at 2:16 AM

    Fabulously cheerful and lively prints. Really cheered me up. I do like that the collaboration with an artist and using the presentation and prints to mirror the artwork.

  20. anna kaufer

    2010-11-16 at 2:31 PM

    Wow! Fab with jewelry from

Leave a Comment