The decorative pattern elements within
Egyptian art, and other archaeological finds, have fascinated me since childhood. Therefore, it was a wonderful surprise to receive these terrific images of
wearable art coats from John Jones. John is a gifted textile and digital artist,
who works from London, UK. John's wearable art picture coats are varied and include a bird
and butterfly coat. The Butterfly Coat also uses Egyptian
Many of the motifs featured in my
are also repeated in John's Egyptian Akhnaton coat in leather and shown right.
John was probably as inspired as I was by the
Egyptian Tutankhamun Exhibition that was held at the British Museum
London back in the early 1970s.
Every generation that sees Egyptian art in all its glory, becomes inspired to design using the elements of Egyptian ornament. When Howard Carter discovered some fine
treasure pieces in 1922, direct
copies or stylised elements crept into fashion and pattern.
Egyptian ornament almost always has a wonderfully modern look to it.
The flat way in which it is drawn also gives it a stencil quality and
clean lines, which brings instant understanding to the onlooker.
Because of my interest in Egyptian costume, last
year I added some relevant material to fashion-era, fashion history
pages on ancient Egyptian Costume and Egyptian Ornament. If you have already seen these pages you
will know they highlight the decorative elements in Egyptian design.
They are a superb source of inspiration.
This coat above right, by John Jones is called Egyptian Akhnaton Coat 1976 and is most certainly
a great piece of art. To my mind it is almost too precious to be worn.
John wrote to say that this coat "is more a picture coat inspired by
Egyptian imagery/art rather than a modern interpretation of their
Obviously the Victoria and Albert museum (V&A) were
just as impressed and the John Jones Egyptian Akhenaton Coat 1976. John
also told me that although once displayed at the V&A, the coat is no
longer on display, but lives in the permanent collection at the V&A..
The coat is now
part of their C20th Textile Collection. To view it, an
appointment should be made with the curator - V&A Ref:T738 T114-1989.
to look at this beautiful Akhnaton Coat on a dress-form stand, just as it is shown in the photograph
John sent me! The Akhnaton Coat 1976 is made from stitched pieces of leather. It really does function as a coat, and you can see the coat being worn on
the YouTube video (links below). Actually, this coat is just one of a collection of patchwork leather art
that can be seen animated in the virtual art
gallery that John has created.
Second Life fans will love his animated virtual galleries.
Click the link below and see these wonderful coats come to life. The
butterfly coat spectacularly flutters and then morphs into a bird coat.
Currently John Jones is working on a new wearable art picture coat
called Nefertiti (to be completed in 2008). As Nefertiti was Akhnaton's wife, it will be fitting for the two coats to be displayed together.
All the wearable art picture coats are magnificent masterpieces.
Even more so since John has now combined his love of textiles with his
passion for digital art. Meaningless shapes transform into a large quilts; coats move
from a blank canvas to become covered in decorative pattern.
John creates just as inspired wall hangings & patchwork quilts. A series of seven stitched
patchwork leather art wall panels were fashioned for the new Hilton
Barcelona Diagonal for March 2005. Work by John Jones has also been
exhibited at the Semain de Cuir Paris and The Coach Gallery New York.
See the galleries on YouTube and view more flash animations at John's
You might also be interested in buying a limited edition print of
work by John Jones. At the
art republic online gallery you can buy one of his exclusive prints
based on one of his coat
picture designs - it is Bird Tattoo (Giclee Signed Limited Edition
of 40) by John Jones
There is no doubt in my mind that a great deal of fashion is
certainly art. Have you ever bought a beautiful garment and just hung it on the outside of your wardrobe door, and
then looked at it as you lay in bed? You admired it, mesmerized,
since you found it so worthy of your personal artistic approval.
I've done this all my life.
Dull clothing is not art. But when an item seems
perfect, either by its cut, fabric choice, decoration, or even
simplicity of design, then it can become art. Textiles
are meant to be worn, but sometimes the work is so beautiful that
utilitarian function is superseded by artistic merit and a desire
to preserve the piece in its beautiful perfection.
Basic sewing techniques have always merged with higher forms of artistic skill. Think about how stump-work pieces create visual scenes.
Think also of how an artistic eye created Elizabethan metal thread embroidered gloves, Chinese embroidered and appliquéd Mandarin robes.
Art fashion perfection
can be found in a spectacularly simple looking Saville Row
tailored suit, with such understated detail that it is pure
fashion art. An architectural hat by Phillip Treacy is
art; a boob tube, or a bobble hat, are just unable to compete artistically. There are two types of clothing, firstly the fashionable type that is
worthy of comment for generations, and secondly the functional type that has no frills, merely covers limbs, and next week is torn up at a textile
Some will think fashion is art, some will not. Look to the
work of designers like John Jones and Gaultier and you will see where fashion
meets theatre, and where fashion meets art.
Fashion-Era.com looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era. Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values. Homelife and politics also
contribute to lifestyle trends, which in turn influence the clothes we wear. These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period.
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