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Photography by Tom Baker

Geraint Edwards Warps Poiret

Since his exhibition at the Fold Gallery last year, this artist/fashion designer has been creating more half-costume, half-installation pieces for Dazed Digital.

After graduating in from Central Saint Martins in 2000, Geraint Edwards took an unconventional route towards his labour-intensive womenswear, much of which has now been exhibited at the Fold Gallery. For Dazed Digital, he has created four new pieces that explore Poiret, science-fiction and Russian ballet…

Dazed Digital: Would you classify your work as art or fashion?
Geraint Edwards: Everyone has their own definition of what art and fashion are, so it makes this a difficult question to answer. I think that classifications are unimportant because if you like something then you shouldn’t worry about what it is. Having said that, my work is not concerned with ‘trend’ fashion; it is more ‘high’ fashion. Truly creative people can work in a variety of fields, and the work of the designers I admire (Bakst, Poiret, Balenciaga, Charles James) is often called ‘art’.  

DD: What have you been working on since your show at Fold?
Geraint Edwards: I’ve had a few projects on the go. I’ve been writing music and DJing. I’ve started a night with DJ Red Greg called Ebonite. We play 70s dance music and soulful disco. The next one is on tonight, please visit our website for more info. We have a video projection showing various cult films and films with exciting costumes. There’s a great party atmosphere. I’ve also been working on these costumes for your website! The Poiret style outfit is very elaborate and because of all the hand-sewing involved it took over three months to make. The jewels for this outfit and the pale pink one came from Paris because, believe it or not, you can’t buy them anywhere in London. I’ll also be doing an interview for the Welsh television programme Cwpwrdd Dillad (Clothes Cupboard) in June and exhibiting pictures at Waterstones on Piccadilly in August.

DD: How did you come up with the ideas of your latest costumes?
Geraint Edwards: The blue and olive green outfit has the influence of Poiret but the cut is different to Poiret because it goes in at the upper calf and then flares out. This difference, combined with the colour and the use of sequins and Swarovski stones, takes the outfit somewhere else. The pale pink and emerald outfit started with the idea for the shape of the dress. I wanted a flared upside down U shape. Once the dress was made it suggested a headdress that echoed the shape of the seams, which has a very Russian feel with the jewel stones. When outfits are completed they often take on a mood you don’t expect. The pink outfit has taken on a 40s sci-fi feel. The two other outfits are bodysuits. I decided I wanted to make two bodysuits, but the ideas for their design just came to me when sketching, so I can’t answer the question! The purple and gold one looks like a combination of disco and 50s ballet, and with the hat and wristlets it takes on a futuristic feel. The yellow-gold and brown one is like a warped swimming costume. Needless to say it’s in the name of gender-fuck and big V sign to conformity!

DD: Speaking of costumes, would you be adverse to film work...  
Geraint Edwards: Not at all. I’d like to work on a film or ballet. I think my work is also suited to musicians like Grace Jones or David Bowie, individuals who have enough character and presence to pull off stage costumes. Not to mention the desire to dress up. So if you’re reading this Grace, I want to make you a frock!

DD: What would be your dream costume to create, without any constraints whatsoever?
Geraint Edwards: A lady who had no financial constraints was the Marchesa Luisa Casati, and the recreation of any of her Bakst-designed costumes would be amazing. I often have ideas beyond my budget. Imagine a dress made to look like real overlapping hands. Or an outfit with a Klaus Nomi triangular silhouette covered in real diamonds. Or a seamless holographic body suit. Or dandy’s suit from the 1830s covered in the smallest feathers shaded from lilac to grey…