Friday, November 16, 2012

Bonnie Cashin's Sweater Paintings

American sportswear designer Bonnie Cashin, is probably best known for the iconic bags she designed for Coach leather, from 1962 to 1974. As a pioneer of women’s sportswear, she was all about comfort and ease of movement to support the active lifestyle of the modern woman. Though her medium was clothing and accessories, her output was more art, sculpture, or design, than “fashion.” 

In a piece about her for the 2001 “The Lives They Lived” section of the the New York Times Magazine, Amy Spindler wrote:
Her clothes alone were so colorful that she used them, in open closets and exposed shelves, as her apartment's primary decor. That decor blended beautifully with pieces by the designers of the day she considered her peers, people who didn't make clothes at all -- the Eamses, George Nelson and Isamu Noguchi. She had little patience for the inbred fashion industry, which she felt was devoted to hobbling women with its fussy clothes.

In 1964, she designed cashmere sweaters for Scottish company, Ballantyne of Peebles. These paintings of sweater bodies, are in the archive of her work at UCLA. They could so easily hang on the walls of a modern art museum.

I love these color names.
Above: anthracite and Robin red.
Below: Bursom, seaweed, sundew, and coral

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