In the Fold opened yesterday as part of the International Fashion Showcase with the work of emerging designers around the world on show until February 24th as part of London Fashion Week. We're profiling the up and coming Irish designers involved, today we're looking at the ethereal work of Michael Stewart. Michael is Instagramming from our profile today – check it out here to see more of his work.
Illustration plays a central role in the work of Michael Stewart who uses drawing of initial ideas and outlining concepts to problem solve and refine his perspective. The design conversation begins with an emotional response to a source of inspiration. Following this, a silhouette is redrawn until its essence is distilled and the prototyping and making of the toile begins. With a strong interdisciplinary approach, Stewart often introduces techniques and materials borrowed from other creative disciplines. His rigorous research combines diverse points of interest which, when combined, create unique viewpoints, allowing him to develop a distinctive contemporary aesthetic. Stewart credits his Irish heritage with facilitating this particular aesthetic as well as a continuous questioning of taste levels. It is this interrogation of taste that leads him to broach ideas about traditional Ireland and reinterpret them in his individual fashion. Points of interest often come from anthropological sources including spirituality, folklore and rituals while escapism is a recurring theme. Slow processes such as hand painted fabric, intensive embroidery, surface detail achieved from fabric manipulation and sculptural artifacts explore the role of craft in fashion and the value of handmade.
Follow Michael on Instagram @michaelstewart.ie.
In the Fold is on view as part of IFS 2015 from 20th to 24th February: 10am to 6pm at the 3rd Floor Gallery, Brewer Street Car Park, 32 Brewer Street, London, W1F 0LA and is presented by ID2015 in collaboration with fashion exhibition partner Kildare Village, Ireland’s luxury shopping outlet destination.
For more see the IFS 2015 guide.
Words by Alex Calder.