The Fashion Arts Commissions are projects commissioned by the BFC Fashion Arts Foundation and the Royal Academy Schools. The initiative pairs graduates from the RA Schools with NEWGEN designers to create collaborative artworks across art forms.
The artists that participated in the inaugural Fashion Arts Commissions for 2016:
Agi & Sam and Joe Frazer
Alex Mullins and Amy Petra Woodward
Diego Vanassibara and Victoria Adam
Kit Neale and Jonathan Trayte
The artwork was on display at Christie’s King Street gallery from 31st October – 10th November 2016, and was part of an online auction to raise money for the BFC Fashion Arts Foundation. Click here to find out more.
Click here to see the artworks, and read the participants' biographies below.
Agi & Sam
Agi Mdumulla studied Fashion Design at Manchester School of Art while Sam Cotton studied Textiles at University of Lincoln. They first met in 2008 whilst interning for Alexander McQueen before going on to work for other brands such as Karl Lagerfeld and J.W. Anderson. With a strong emphasis on entirely bespoke textiles and humour, Agi & Sam believe that fashion should never be taken too seriously. Agi & Sam are mentored personally by Sir Paul Smith, who keeps regular contact with the duo, and advises on all business ideas. The brand has won awards including the British Fashion Award for Emerging Menswear, the GQ Men of the Year Award for Breakthrough Designer of the Year and the Emerging Designer of the Year at the FFF Milano Awards and have been nominated for the LVMH prize.
Alex Mullins was educated at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art and set up his eponymous brand in 2014. Mullins reimagines and handcrafts clothing for men and women, taking inspiration from real life and editing the everyday. He develops bespoke textiles through innovative methods that resonate with the feeling of the ‘handmade’. He playfully builds immersive worlds and narratives around his clothes, and is stocked internationally at luxury stores including 10 Corso Como in Milan, Shanghai and Seoul and Joyce, Hong Kong.
Amy Petra Woodward
Amy Petra Woodward lives and works in London and studied at Camberwell College of Art and then The Royal Academy Schools, from which she graduated in 2013. She was commissioned as the first artist in residence for a studio and research residency with Unilever and has work in both the Unilever and V22 Collections. Woodward focuses on concepts of display and spectatorship and often plays with colour and texture in her work. Woodward’s solo exhibitions include Face Down, Chandelier Projects, London (2015); The Selina Chenevière Fellowship Award exhibition; You Look So Good In Stereo at The Royal Academy of Arts (2014) and a solo presentation in Palazzo Peckham, Venice Biennale (2013).
Diego Vanassibara initially studied architecture in his native South Brazil and then moved to England to train at Cordwainer’s. In 2013 he launched his eponymous men’s shoe label. Vanassibara combines references that include the urban, architecture, history and nature. As well as a recipient of NEWGEN MEN he is also a winner of the Footwear Friends Awards, a similar prize from the British Footwear Association. His designs are available at selected designer boutiques and department stores in four continents.
Joe Frazer lives and works in London. He holds a BA in Fine Art and Art History from Goldsmiths, University of London and a Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Art from Royal Academy Schools. He was a guest student at Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt, Germany. Frazer often uses textiles in his works and explores notions of identity and masculinity. Selected exhibitions include Studio_Leigh, London; RA Schools Alumni, Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam; Joyride, KINMAN NY, New York; I love you Me either, Project Native Informant, London; “I’M NOT IN THE MOOD”, Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam; Open Heart Surgery, Moving Museum, London; Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2013, ICA, London.
Jonathan Trayte graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2010. Trayte’s approach to making sculpture and installation is informed by our global language of consumption and the manipulation of consumer decision-making. Using a wide range of materials, methods and processes, his work reinterprets modern consumer behavior. Glossy synthetic skins of paint give the work a colourful pop status, a chameleon appearance and an almost edible quality. The work is a coming together of natural forms and saccharine colours that generate an awkward physical presence. Solo exhibitions include Polyculture, The Tetley, Leeds (2016); Pazar, Istanbul Art Projects, Istanbul (2014); Nude, Identity Gallery, Hong Kong (2011) and Under a Pine Tree, Simon Oldfield Gallery, London (2011).
London-born designer, printmaker and creative director Kit Neale founded his namesake brand in 2012 and works out of his East London studio. Neale engages in an exploration of popular and traditional culture. His observations and abstract references of life are deliberately tongue-in-cheek, humorous and characterised through bold prints, vibrant colours, texture and craft. Neale has worked on collaborations and special projects including a global soft furnishings collaboration with IKEA (launching in November 2017) as well as with brands such as Coca-Cola, Hallmark, Kew Gardens, Lavazza, Opening Ceremony and Sky.
Graduated from Royal Academy Schools in 2015 after studying at the Slade School of Art and now lives and works in London. Adam makes sculptures intended to be experienced close-up and that draw people into their intimacy. The works are often tactile or sensual and look at ideas of personal space, connections, desire or derision. Recent solo exhibitions include ☽⦶ at Zabludowicz Collection Invites, London (2016); Leks at Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam (2016); middens ❧, a ceramics show at Kingsgate Workshops, London (2015).
With thanks to: Andy Keate, Flash Transport, Four Communications, George Reece, Kent Waterjet Cutting Ltd, Lavazza, Metro Imaging Ltd, Ruskin Trees & Landscapes Ltd, Spring Studios, St George PLC