John Chamberlain created colorful wrecks out of scrap metal and old automobile parts. In a sense, he brought Abstract Expressionist paintings to life. But his use of junk as material brought the art of personal expression down to earth, literally. The origin of the parts does not matter as much as how Chamberlain can shape them into a new form. He meticulously fit and welded the parts together until there were no gaps in between. The experience of encountering these large works in person is like witnessing another crash. Instead of car parts, ribbons of color collide and compress into unwieldy figures.
Chamberlain’s work is really just a controlled mess of color, which makes it perfect for adapting to the runway. That’s what Mary Katrantzou did for her Spring 2012 collection. She fused together images of industrial materials and natural patterns to make abstract prints that were then tailored to the body. Watch her explain the ideas behind the collection and give a glimpse into how she constructs each piece.