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Things to wear
Fashion designer Mads Dinesen on his collaboration with artist Jorinde Voigt

In her first solo exhibition in Milan at Lisson Gallery german artist Jorinde Voigt shows her latest intricate drawings and paintings that guide us trough mysterious experiences and feelings expressed in colours, forms, lines and connections that refer to the bodily functions that regulate our physiological production of these three elements. Among these works Voigt has collaborated with berlin-based danish fashion designer Mads Dinesen in the creation of a series of kimonos called Things to Wear – an almost literal translation of the Japanese word – that investigate the relationship between art and fashion.

How did you meet Jorinde Voigt and how did your collaboration begin?
Well, it was more of a coincidence. Some of my very close friends have worked for Jorinde for years, and they called me at some point because they needed help. Jorinde’s work immediately inspired me, and I couldn´t get the idea out of my head to turn Jorinde’s work into a 3-dimensional textile work. Jorinde was equally inspired by my work, so the idea of working together slowly took form over the last year!
Due to Jorinde’s strong interest in Asian art, and my focus on traditional and ethnic clothing, the idea of interpreting the classic kimono manifested itself.

What do you find your work and Jorinde’s have in common?
The urge to create a personal visual language is very strong in both of our works and the almost physiological approach to the human mind is very strong. Our mutual inspiration is the strongest part of this collaboration. We both stepped into it very open-minded, to explore new territory between fashion and art. Sometimes our aesthetics seem to clash, but through honesty and curiosity we both find our self in the final result.
There have always been issues regarding the connections between art and design, between the creativity and the need of self-expression of the artist and the functionality required from the designer: how do you usually manage to balance the two things and how did your approach change collaborating with Jorinde Voigt?
I always try to seek the boundaries of each field I work in, but the deeper I dive into the void, the more the lines between the fields get blurred. 
I see fashion as a carrier of stories, exactly in the same way as art. Both have the opportunity to make us rethink the world that surrounds us. Of course Design and Art are two different fields of creative outlet, but in the end, we should also not forget, that both are also a business. The freedom within art has really inspired me, and given me space to be even more consequential in the way I want to work.
What is the purpose that guides your work? Why did you choose fashion design as the medium to communicate your thoughts? 
For ten years I dreamt of a career as a contemporary dancer, but due to injuries I had to change my plans. I found out that the stories I wanted to express on stage, can also be expressed trough clothing. My collections always carry elements of historical and ethnic clothing traditions, paired with a strong political and social awareness, they are statements as much as fashion.

Jorinde Voigt: Salt, Sugar, Sex runs trough March 13th at Lisson Gallery in Milan.

Photographer Mali Lazell
Courtesy the artists and Lisson Gallery, London
Things to Wear III-V, 2105, Mads Dinesen and Jorinde Voigt
Ja Oder Nein – Studie I, 2014, Jorinde Voigt

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Text by Giovanni Cavalleri

February 15, 2015