The interdisciplinary light that fashion has shone brightly in recent seasons is gaining momentum. Legendary museums are holding exhibitions in honor of designers alongside the very antiquities and works of art they draw inspiration from in their own practice. A fashion designer is no different than any other artist. They are interdisciplinary in that they draw from multiple resources, mediums and methodologies to create and construct. They also do their research. Subjects range from historical techniques and political movements to extinct botanicals. They likely spend as many hours slaving away over open books in dark libraries as they do sourcing out superb textiles. Embracing the concept of any medium becoming part of a garment allows their imagination to lose boundaries and take hold.
‘Clothing has transformed from a frozen object of beauty in a tableau to a tantalizing aspect of a narrative that is primarily about life as we now live it.’ - Kismaric and Respini
Writing by Brit Parks
Photography and art direction by Christina Hicks
Fashion Styling by Anna Telcs
Modeled by Lana Kraljevich
Mona Kowalski, the mind behind A Détacher, is the quintessential interdisciplinary designer and a true participant in The Slow Fashion Movement. She has one work space in New York City’s Nolita neighborhood, a purposefully small tight-knit staff and only sells to retailers she has a genuine connection with.
Her latest collection is, at first blush, stunning: Like turning the corner in the Museum of Modern Art to find a bold abstract Robert Motherwell canvas. Upon further investigation, you start to muse on the meaning of the garment names and the inspiration for the prints and color pairings. Kowalska is known for writing poetic lines for her show program notes that she took down during her design process. Essentially, a journaling of the creation.
Research reveals the influence of exotic places with a singular standout quality inspiring an open mind to morph them into silhouettes and patterns. You also note a myriad of ancient references that have clearly been filtered through the designer’s mind to end in a subtle or bold representation. For example, a signature print is a photographic image of the Vesuvius Volcano in Naples, Italy erupting in black and white abstraction.
Quite simply, what you wear is a reflection of who you are: One day as perfect as a white tee shirt and jeans; the next, a dress that seems to have been taken off the gallery wall and precisely tailored to a beautiful likeness for the form. It's not about the fashion game. It's about the authentic moment. It's about a belief in wearing garments steeped in an inspiration you can feel. A Détacher is an artfully driven offering in a chaotic world inspiring moments of awe. - Brit Parks