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Swiss fashion house Akris debuts today a special collaboration with the late Geta Brătescu for its Spring/Summer 2019 collection. Captured by the striking colors and quiet humor used by Brătescu upon first discovering her work in 2017, Akris’ creative director Albert Kriemler approached the artist for a collaboration the following year.
“ I was fascinated by the light in her eyes. She embodied the spirit and the life force of a young person,” said Kriemler. “She thought of drawing as a dance and called it the backbone of her art.”
For the collection, a selection of fluid ready-to-wear silhouettes, upbeat handbags, and phone cases were inspired by Brătescu’s “Magnets” series, which the artist chose for the ways that humans attract and repel one another, as well as the magnet’s symbolism as a beacon of power. Brătescu and Kriemler created a suite of colorful and intriguing designs from pre-existing works like Magnets in the City (a photomontage created in 1974) and a marker on paper creation titled Linia, reimagining them as graphics, prints, and patterns.
The yellow and black Ai handbag portrays an abstracted face from the 2011 work Portrait, and a softly pleated plissé skirt, which brings to life with the lines of The Predatory Fish. Showcasing Brătescu’s less colorful pieces are an elegant black gown that imagines Pasarea-Rea as a simple three-dimensional embellishment that floats down the length of the hem, and several garments employing the artist’s black and white photomontage works as all-over prints.
Born in Ploiesti, Romania in 1926, Geta Brătescu came to the forefront of contemporary art in the 1960s, known for her complex body of work spanning the areas of drawing, collage, photography, experimental film, performance, and more. Nearing the end of her career in 2017, the artist became the first female with a solo show in the Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale with her project “Apparitions.” In September of 2018, just before the presentation of her collaboration with Akris, Brătescu died at the age of 92.
“For Geta Brătescu, the purpose of art is to bring joy to our lives. She speaks of art as ‘a serious game,’ which, albeit in a different context, can also be said about fashion,” Kriemler said.