Raw domesticity explored and finessed, as imperfections and the mundane are made beautiful – and comfort found in the most unexpected of places.
A new kind of comfort:
“Feeling the comfort of sadness in a new set of surroundings,” was intoned over and over again by the singers on Dev Hynes’ soundtrack. Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta have long investigated the idea of fusing the familiar with the unfamiliar through what they call “formalistic studies” in textiles. “We always like exploring this sense of domesticity and the relationship between fabric and the wearer,” said Latta. “There are things you wear everyday – something a bit more intimate and special,” Eckhaus added. Unburdened by specific references or themes, the designers were free to work on their textural poetics – seen in a cape beautifully woven out of found fabrics or curved patchwork striped dresses that were described in the notes as “crazy miscellaneous”. A hole bashed into the wall in the gallery space setting, with deliberate pounding going on in the background during the show, added a jarring note to the sense of domestic bliss.
Dev Hynes and Eckhaus Latta are mutual admirers of each other’s work. That’s how Hynes came to create a soundscape especially for the show, as he interpreted the duo’s aesthetic through an uplifting live performance which included early 90s freestyle keyboard playing, saxophone sounds and soothing vocals. “Choosing what you live for is never what you make your life. How did you know if you’re squandering your passions for another.” They were emotive lyrics that tied in with the cocooned bodies in hand-loomed alpaca knits and headstock fabric collages. “What they try and do with fabrics is kind of what I do musically,” said Hynes after the show. “It wasn’t a stretch for me.”