donderdag 26 april 2012

“hair dress” by Aleksandra Lalić

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers. (Who are you, where do you come from and what is your field of specialization?) 
My name is Aleksandra Lalić and I’m from Belgrade, Serbia. For years I thought I was an art historian but it turned out that I am the fashion designer who is checking the possibility of securing existence through participation in the fashion world. 

2. Tell us a little bit about the concept behind your collection. 
The collection entitled hair_dressconsists of clothes made of felt from human hair. My intention was to demonstrate how one segment of the fashion world functions. In aestheticising the human body, some of its parts (hair, nails, mole, ribs ...) are removed as undesirable waste - trash. Having designed clothes from recycled bio-waste, I brought it back on the human body and, moreover, I made it desirable again in a theatrical situation of a fashion show. 

3. Can you tell us a little about the shapes you used in your collection? 
I tried to bring out the clear forms that are based on the shapes of the female body. The shapes do not follow the body but discreetly transform it. The result is a differently shaped body than the desired one, the one which is presented in public space as the only accepted form of the body.

4. You are using human hair as raw material and turn it into fabric – How challenging was it working with this kind of material? 
Producing the fabric out of human hair was not my idea. This was a project of the Serbian artist Zoran Todorovic who represented Serbia at the Venice Biennale with his work `Warmth` in 2009. The work represents an installation from 1200 m2 felt made of human hair. From one part of that felt I made a dress in 2011. I experimented with the material which is inappropriate for making clothes focusing on converting its disadvantages into advantages, e.g. besides tailoring, because of its strength I shaped it with hands, like a sculpture.

5. Can you describe the process of turning human hair into fabric? Do you use special equipment? 
The process was complex and long lasting. First, Todorovic collaborated with more than 200 hairdressers in Belgrade where the hair had been collected. Then it was packed and sent in a felt factory in southern Serbia, where 2 tons of raw human hair was processed into the felt. This process could be seen on the video during the fashion show.

6. What were the challenges you faced while working on your collection? 
The main challenge was testing possibilities to transform the ugly, amorphous, thick, stodgy, carpetlike fabric into a beautiful dress, which is the process of changing connotations.

7. How do you personally define „fashionclash“ or „ a clash with fashion“ for yourself? 
That reminds me of re-thinking of fashion as a social and cultural phenomenon and re-acting inside it by using radical approaches to explore and demonstrate different aspects of a fashion's systems and structures.  

Pictures by Sinisa Mandic and Predrag Zagorac

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