Collage by Colette Vermeulen
Artist Colette Vermeulen reconstructs some of our favourite SS18 looks in a series of exclusive paper works for Also and speaks to us about her journey from fashion, to landscapes and back again.
I studied fashion at the Royal college of Art in London and started working as a womenswear designer for Roksanda. After several years I decided to leave my fashion job and move to Berlin, so I could focus on more autonomous work. I was accepted onto an artists residency at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture in Taliesin West, in Arizona. I was so inspired by the landscapes and incredible nature of Arizona, that the subject of the residency became landscapes, visualised in paper collage. I have been working on landscapes ever since, turning them into large paper wallhangings, up to two meters wide.
After the Art residency, I took a two month road trip around America and visited many of Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings, but also places like Georgia O’Keefe’s home and studio, and Charles and Ray’s Eames’ house. This experience made me want to work more with art, interior and furniture design, along side fashion.
I am now back in Berlin and experimenting with collage, furniture and textile design and working as a freelance fashion designer. For Also, I created six fashion illustrations, in the same collage technique as my landscapes.
To do these fashion illustrations was so interesting for me. I have been doing only landscapes for over a year and was really curious to try a different subject. Of course I have done many fashion drawings whilst studying fashion and working as a designer, but it took me a while to break free from the way I draw when I design, which is to communicate the construction of a garment.
This project was so much more about the texture, colour and atmosphere, things I find incredibly exciting, so it was very liberating. I really think collage is a great technique for me, because it is very spontaneous and intuitive. Things can be moved and shuffled around before having to commit to a brushstroke or a line straight away.
I also love the coincidental aspect of it. When I’m working, the whole floor is covered with bits of paper, and then I happen to look down and find the perfect piece of paper right there, which I never intended to make. And it is the same with the way paper tears, you can never quite control it, and it makes the outcome much more unexpected. I think it is really important to be open for these coincidences, not only in art, but in any design process.