Friday, 29 August 2014

Inspiration | Anita Hirlekar

(all images here are not my own - they are of the work of the fantastic Anita Hirlekar, from this interview by the student magazine 1 Granary)

I found out about the work of Anita Hirlekar earlier today after discovering the existence of the student magazine 1 Granary, which is doing really well for itself, even after the only recent release of Issue 2! Something within me just instantly clicked with Hirlekar's work, not only because it's absolutely fantastic, but also because in her interview she gives some really good insight into working with crafts that are seen as "old fashioned".

When she did her BA, she thought that felting techniques had a bad reputation of being really uncool and dated. “It was like this old women technique which I thought was really strange. I wanted to embrace it, and use it really artistically, with modern colours and fabrics like lace and knit,” she says. The felting technique ended up being the main concept of her BA collection. Her MA collection, on the other hand, was all hand embroidered, which shows how much she admires intrinsic handcraft. “I love to raise the question of how the textile work is created, I think that once people start asking how you did it, it feels like the mission is accomplished.”

Craft is seeing a revival, and it's thanks to designers like Hirlekar using the craft in new and innovative ways, and especially in her case by deliberately pointing out the stereotypes that the craft used to hold. 

Her BA collection is fantastically muddled, but in a very paradoxical way, where in actual fact it's most likely a very deliberate muddled. The colours clash, but they are picked to clash. I love it so much, and think Hirlekar has a really good future ahead in the industry.

The mixture of felting along with embroidery and knit in these pieces creates something which I think is very visually appealing, and to me it resonates quite a lot as it manages to realise ideas I had earlier this year at college for a project where I re-used old knitwear and plastic bags to create samples, but never got to the stage of designing garments. 

Have a read of the 1 Granary spotlight on Anita Hirlekar here, and then go pick up a copy of Issue 2 of 1 Granary!

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