When art meets fashion an artistic volcano erupts; loud colours and beautiful prints merge with great shapes, fabrics and cuts, creating both a visual and sartorial delight. That’s exactly what London label Mother of Pearl, together with artist Jim Lambie, pulled off when the label showed its S/S11 collection in the midst of the art frenzy that is Frieze. The timing was no coincidence, of course, but it made for an excellent opportunity to view designer Maia Norman’s small yet focused collection.
Showing at the Hauser & Wirth gallery off Savile Row, Norman continued her clean and geometric vision, but spiced up proceedings by adding Lambie’s graphic work, notably ‘Acid Perm’ and a repeated ‘Found Flower Painting’ series. Mother of Pearl’s strongest asset is its ability to give luxe fabrics, such as nappa leather and flowing silk, a place and purpose in a modern day city wardrobe. Clever details and a general functionality mode characterize this brand and – conjunctive art collaboration or not – it’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
Dazed Digital: How did you start working with Jim Lambie?
Maia Norman: I saw his work at the Serpentine gallery, and I was a big fan for a while before I gathered enough courage to ask him about collaborating.
DD: What did you like about him?
Maia Norman: His style is raw and confrontational, it cuts straight through. I like how he plays cleverly with iconic figures but mix it all up with his dry sense of humour.
DD: How would you describe the Mother of Pearl style?
Maia Norman: It's very practical, and we stick to what we know. I'd say the clothes are utilitarian and inspired by motor cross and surf gear. I love making durable clothes that are not just for show.
DD: Yes, the collection seems very wearable and like it can take a bit of use and abuse....
Maia Norman: Yeah, I like mixing high end fashion with extreme sports. We use technical fabrics, but our water resistant jackets that don't look they're made out of that kind of material. I also lie silk that can be chucked in the washer.
DD: Do you have a favourite piece in the collection?
Maia Norman: The blue leather parka and the Eyes and duck tape...
DD: Have you worked with fashion labels before?
Jim Lambie: Maybe five or six years ago I did a Adidas collaboration through my friends at the Hideout store.
DD: How would you describe your style and for influences?
Jim Lambie: Some of my stuff references pop and street culture, but it translates pretty well to more high end fashion, and I’m really happy about that.
Installation Photos by Alistair Guy