Transposing conceptual ideas into garments. A spotlight on Joanna Prazmo’s experimental practice starring Kira, photographed by Marco Giuliano and styled by Anca Macavei.
Joanna Prazmo derives inspirations from art, philosophy and nature. She likes to transfer conceptual ideas into textiles and garments where she can experiment with different mediums and objects. Joanna completed BA education as Fashion Designer at London College of Fashion and as Pattern Designer at VIA University College in Denmark. Her style is strongly influenced by pattern making and tailoring skills with use of non traditional fabrics and raw finishing techniques.
As human beings we tend to fit everything into a specific category, even when one cannot be placed only into a specific one. Where do you see the pieces you create into the artistic and fashion fields nowadays?
Like you said it’s difficult for me to categorize my work. From the time I started my journey with fashion my approach in making clothes has changed a lot. I became more interested in sculpture which I would like to further explore through my work. I try to combine both in my collections – art and wearable pieces but at the moment they belong more to exhibition space then a closet.
The re-use and re-contextualization of daily objects is a technique seen in breaking artistic movements such as Dada and Arte povera. Did they affect your creative process, and if so, in which way?
Through reading and contact with art that embraces theme of find objects I found it very inspiring to look at everyday objects from different perspective giving them another meaning. It pushed me to explore variety of mediums which I experimented with and led me to create unexpected results. My work starts from concept and is influenced by process of experimentation which is primary to final result. Even though I have an idea of what I want to achieve in the end it always changes through the spontaneous process of making and recreating. Similarly to mentioned movements that challenged work of art as something beautiful my work challenges traditional values of beauty and glamour questioning role of fashion nowadays.
All your pieces seem to implement difficult modelling, sewing and productive techniques. How much working time does a whole body silicone piece require to be ultimated?
That really depends on a kind of garment and type of silicone I work with. In this collections I experimented with few types of silicone having different properties and curing time. There are garments which I am able to create using technique of molding in about two days. Those garments that are made from pattern pieces and constructed like conventional garments involve more sampling. One piece of clothing made within use of mixed techniques such as flat pattern making and molding might require up to two weeks time.
Speed of making garments depends much on experience. Making silicone dress for a first time took me about four weeks and was preceded by long initial experimentation with material itself. Through understanding the process of silicone molding and curing I could significantly minimise making time.
Your collection is inspired by the ‘rhizome’ philosophy, which suggests that many things in the world are consistent and ‘rhizomatically’ interconnected, even though omnipresent connections are often invisible for human eye. How does this peculiar and interesting notion come in contact with your pieces?
‘Rhizome’ is a very interesting and complex philosophy which became a starting point of my collection that inspired use of wide range of materials and objects I worked with.
Philosophy draws from examples from molecular biology, botany, evolution, linguistics, psychoanalysis, politics, music and even more. Following this concept my research was expanded into fields of botany, microbiology and genetics where I found interesting connections. For example use of insects in my collection was inspired by research in mutualism between plants and their pollinators. Term commonly known which refers to association between two organisms in which each individual benefits from the activity of another. This evolved further into looking closer at insects’ DNA and genetics of fruit fly among others. Analysis of fruit fly visual system inspired one of my porous textures. Use of metal knitmesh and computer parts was a result of my research in microbiology which led me to discover potential of slime mold as a computing power. Their coexistence creates visually inspiring image which influenced my experimentation and final choice of materials. Through the process of making I don’t stay entirely attached to my inspiration theme. I allow my ideas to evolve, intertwine and surprise me.
Are there any “classic” fashion designers you are looking at with particular appreciation?
I admire Yohij Yamamoto for his consistent vision in fashion yet innovative approach and Demna Gvasalia for bringing freshness and change into fashion industry that was awaited for so long.
Do you already have a leading theme for your next collection? What are your plans for the immediate future?
This time my concept will be less abstract and will refer to subject of physical disability. I would like to present my collection in a different way as I used to. I want my work to touch important often forgotten subjects in fashion. Fashion is changing and it needs to change even more and become open and relevant to the real world.
Experimentation with materials involved in next collection is more complex and requires longer preparation time. I’m in the process of gaining skills that will help me turn my ideas into life.
I am also planning to continue my education as a fashion designer on MA Degree.
I am open to awaiting opportunities, I’ll see what future brings.
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Styling assistant: Maria Vershinina / @diefraumarusya
Video edit: Isabel Evangelisti / @isabelevangelisti
Model: Kira at Next Models / @kira.a.official @nextmodels