15 November 2015

QUT Fashion Graduates 2015: Isabel Wengert 'LST'

Words: Saskia Edwards
Images: Jonathan Rae
Model: Lilly at Vivien's

Isabel Wengert’s collection ‘LST’ is comprised of a series of rectangles and squares. But it’s not really geometric - it’s more fluid and organic. Throughout the garments are splashes of pink and abstract faces. I sat down with Isabel and had a chat with her about her 2015 Fine Arts Fashion graduate collection. 

SE: Could you walk me through your collection?

IW: My collection is called LST, which stands for Line Shape and Texture. It’s an exploration into those three components of my work. I looked at lines through my drawing and also playing with asymmetry a little bit. I’m playing with the balance of line, how far you can take unexpected line. And then shape came because I was really inspired by Malevich’s motif of the square, so that is throughout the collection. And a lot of my patterns  are made from squares. And the texture part comes because I use a lot of... knitting and embroidery throughout it as well. I was also trying to make materiality more important than form which was inspired by Gutai art, which was a movement where a painting would be important for the paint as opposed to the subject.

SE: Why did you chose to explore that?

IW: I think that those three components have always influenced my work and so I just kind of wanted to take this chance to explore why they are interesting to me by creating a bigger body of work and incorporating them. 

SE: Can you describe what people will see on the grad show night?

IW: A lot have people have described it to me as ‘interesting’, which I think is probably a fair word because it’s not necessarily conventionally beautiful. The garments don’t look traditionally like garments, in as much as, but they’re obviously still garments. But because a lot of them are based on squares and they are literally squares and rectangles and the finishings are quite different... it kind of all looks imperfect in a way. It doesn’t look neat and it doesn’t look pretty. But I think at the same time it looks quite tactile because it is quite, even with the painting and the weaving, it’s still quite textural.

SE: How has your practice, aesthetic, process changed over the last three years since you’ve been studying Fine Arts Fashion?

IW: I think when I first started designing I was trying to attain this outcome of perfection. So everything that I started I would always try and make it look really perfect and really neat. And it was something I always struggled to achieve. So I would always start with these ideas and I was never able to fully realise them and I think probably half way through last year I stopped trying to achieve this. Because I realised that that wasn’t really my aesthetic. And I started to question why I was even fighting against this distortion within my work and so I started to embrace it, and that was a big turning point for me.

SE: What do you want to do after you graduate?

IW: I’ve applied for Honours next year, so I’d like to do further study. And I’m not too sure about in the long run. I think I’d like to get into the academic side of fashion or potentially something to do with visual art, so creative direction or something like that.

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