Interview: Diane Goldie – Maker of Wearable Art talks to us about her upcoming East London collaboration

This Saturday, East London’s Cleeve Court will be swathed in colour as artists Diane Goldie, Sue Kreitzman and Anne-Sophie Cochevelou team up with Taiwanese Street Food pop-up Dumpling Heart for an afternoon of wearable art, performance and tasty treats.  We asked Diane to guide us through this unusual coming together of food and fabrics: 

Give us a flavour of what to expect from the show.
On Saturday, from around 2pm Mei-hui Lui who is the creative force behind pop up food stall Dumpling Heart, in  Cleeve Courtyard , E2 7 JP will be joining forces with three of her artist friends, Sue Kreitzman, Anne-Sophie Cochevelou and Diane Goldie to create a unique event combining Taiwanese food and Wearable Art.

There will be dainty dumplings  beautifully prepared, alongside a riot of colour and vibrant energy as the artists and their  friends and fans model their art in an exuberant celebration of life, food and living in colour.

Sue and colour

How did the event come together?
The event resulted from a unique combination of friendship, support and love for colour, art and food; good friends joining forces to showcase each other’s skills and creating a moment of pure celebration. Mei-Hui Lui, who is behind the event, met colourful artist Sue Kreitzman at Spitalfields market many years ago when Mei-Hui was working as a fashion designer, making and selling her  beautiful clothing. They forged a wonderful friendship and as Sue’s friendship circle (her ‘tribe’) grew, so did the opportunity for collaborative events to occur such as this one. Mei-Hui has moved on from fashion to event promotion and making delicate dumplings, her deftness of touch and elegance carrying through to food.

Introduce us to the other artists and designers involved in the show.
Apart from myself, Diane Goldie, the wonderful Outsider artist and Fabulous Fashionista ( of the Channel 4 documentary by Sue Bourne) Sue Kreitzman will be there , wearing and showing many of her own distinct kimonos that she puts together from bright Dutch Wax prints, many of which I embellish with replicas of Sue’s very own art work (making her into her own walking gallery) and of other artists and imagery that Sue admires. Joining us will be the incredible costume performance artist and designer, Anne-Sophie Cochevelou who has her very own unique take on clothing as performance, using toys and dolls and colour as her launch pad into fantastic interpretations of what clothing is and how it functions as a conduit between functionality and performance. Expect playfulness and interaction and a riot of colour, it’s what Anne-Sophie does best.

You describe your work as ‘wearable art’ – how would you distinguish between this and a more traditional interpretation of fashion (or indeed would you at all)?
I don’t make fashion. I’m first and foremost a Feminist artist. As such I identify the fashion industry as part of the Capitalist system and part of the Patriarchal problem. I am staunchly anti-fashion. I stand behind my hashtag #fuckfashion.  People say that because I make clothes I make fashion but I vehemently disagree. Fashion is more than clothes. Fashion is a money making industry that shamelessly exploits people to make profit. Fashion is about dictating how a human (especially a woman) should look. Trends tell us how to dress to be accepted. I reject that. I believe that we all have an individual style that we have forgotten how to access. Part of my journey as an artist is to facilitate people to rediscover their own style.  I make all the pieces myself. There is no sweatshop involved. Every one is crafted as an individual piece, no two pieces are ever the same. Every piece has a story, every piece is wearable art.

Me Sue Anne Sophie

You’ve chosen to use ‘ordinary humans’ rather than professional models for the show – how will this alter the experience for those attending?
As part of my ethos of rejecting fashion, I prefer to use ordinary humans and my friends and fans to model my clothing. Wearable art is for everyone, beauty is to be found in diversity . I do not like to put people into categories of regular size and plus size. Bodies are bodies, I dress humans not objects. This may be quite challenging initially to those in attendance who are used to seeing a certain regulation model shape but once the initial shock of seeing humans rather than glorified mannequins wearing the garments subsides, I’m convinced that they will delight in the authenticity of the experience. The first time I ever did this , the response from the audience was overwhelmingly positive. After all, wearable art is for everyone, not just a select few . My clothing is not about status , rather it is about elevating the person wearing the garment and making them feel confident, putting their inside world on their outside. (This especially applies to the bespoke process where the client designs the piece in collaboration with the artist). The only way to understand this is to see it in action. Here’s your chance!

The show takes place at 6 Cleeve Court, London E2 7JP on Saturday 12th March from 2-6.30pm.  Further details can be found at facebook.com/SecretRendezVousByVictimFashionSt

Find out more about Diane’s work at iheartcart.com

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