Things started to change for Lawrie Abie when he shoved a paper bag scrawled with the outline of a face over a model’s head. From there, he began to create sculptural headgear from soup cans, bits of toilet roll, and origami boats, drawing inspiration from the kinds of Pritt Stick-strewn craft tables beloved by primary school teachers. “As adults, we become fearful and lose hope,” he said of his practice earlier this year. “So it’s okay to act and think like a child sometimes.” Born in Ghana but based in Berlin, Abie’s wide-eyed approach to styling, as well as his towering headpieces, caught the attention of Dazed’s fashion director Imruh Asha and landed him a cover shoot for Perfect magazine in September.
Though Abie’s imagery reads as spontaneous – all makeshift millinery and lanyards scribbled with name tags and smiley faces – his shoots are laden with symbolism and cross-cultural references. For Taiwanese label NAMESAKE’s SS23 collection he created a vertiginous column of Frankensteined snapbacks, which imitated rural market sellers and their stalls-on-a-stick. “I think of my work as a form of narrative art, as telling a story,” he said when debuting his fashion story Fragile Dreams on Dazed. In it, children gaze out over wooden jetties while women are washed away on rowing boats and a wrinkled matriarch bows her head in a diadem made of bath towels. “When you look at the images, and follow each chapter as it progresses, my work should read like a movie script,” the stylist continued.
Text Daniel Rodgers