By Ava Gilchrist

Artist’s Eye: Harriet Yakub

In an industry that is increasingly operating under a ‘high risk, high reward’ mentality, burgeoning fashion designers from all corners of the globe are adapting to our ostentatious desires with unanticipated reverence. GRAZIA commissions nine artists to chronicle fashion’s vanguard, those marking a ‘coup de théâtre’ for the Spring/Summer 2023 season

In the current fashion landscape, the discourse around fashion as art, and fashion as clothing, has never been so loud. As Venera Kazarova is proving through her ornate costume-inspired creations, fashion has always been a vessel for imagination. She doesn’t create clothing under her eponymous label, she creates

Such is the case with her amusingly gargantuan fly dress. The white clinical shoulders aren’t puffed, they’re protruding, and the papery material of the ballooned skirt is so intentionally sculpturally voluminous that you can see the rigid dimensional construction.

This isn’t your typical everyday dress. That is unless your mundane activities include sweeping away the incessant buzzing of flies. Despite the dress’s effervescence and whimsicality, it serves as a potent remedy for the often disturbing and distressing times of now with the piece dubbed a “war dress” by the designer. Her juxtaposing name for the fantastical creation recalls the penultimate paragraph of William Golding’s seminal 1954 novel Lord Of The Flies, with this dress Kazarova “wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart”.

If anything, we need these theatrical creative endeavours now more than ever. It’s an antidote to the bleak, banal and vicious trend cycle we’re currently living in. Let her dream. Let her confront the limitations of craftsmanship and the possibilities of wearability. Because isn’t the concept of wearing something someone has made the most intimate display of art there is?

HARRIET YAKUB: Employing her signature linework, Irish creative and award-winning artist Harriet Yakub challenges the mundane every day with compelling perspectives that are equally tactile as they are emotional. Yakub’s strength lies in her ability to question the very ideals that make us human and provide an introspective response that imparts humour on the overlooked moments of existence.

Follow Harriet Yakub @harrietyakub