Fashion X Art: Saint Laurent X Sumi Ink Club
When you hear the words “social interaction” do you think of meeting up with friends in-person or engaging with them online? Personally, I think of something in between. As our work and private lives are increasingly annexed by the Internet, there is a push in the opposite direction from those making an effort to interact meaningfully in the “real” world.
Sumi-Ink Club is a group that facilitates such in-person interactions. Created by Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck the group brings together people, whose paths would ordinarily never cross, to meet and create art. Defining the group as a participatory drawing project, they produce open-to-the-public art events, which anyone can organize, attend and participate in.
Co-creator, Sarah, told Elephant Magazine:
There’s something about drawing that allows people to focus on multiple things and leads to really good conversations. Drawing is an excuse for people to sit and talk to each other. When you invite people over for dinner, there’s a formality built into the gathering and people grow uncomfortable. I think because we reset normal social behaviour, we created an awkward situation that actually made people more open to communication with each other.
The interactive project even caught the attention of Saint Laurent creative director, Hedi Slimane, who commissioned the group to create some art for Saint Laurent’s Fall 2013 menswear collection. The drawings were used on a cape and a leather motorcycle jacket. Sarah said:
When we first met Hedi for coffee, he seemed to like the fact that our drawings are made collaboratively. That in itself is very punk because it’s open, accepting and community-oriented.
The resulting drawings fit perfectly – in an aesthetic and theoretical sense – with Hedi’s new creative direction of the Saint Laurent label. Since taking over at the YSL helm in 2012, he introduced Saint Laurent to a more punk-inspired look – taking the iconic label in a totally different, anti-establishment direction. And much of his recent collections have followed this androgynous, gritty look. It’s an aesthetic which, though it has received mixed reviews from critics, has been super popular with those who hold the final judgement, the consumers.