Friends of ESS Presents: KATIE MCKAY – Patterning narratives
July 5, 2011 Leave a comment
EXILO STUDIO showcased new pieces from Brooklyn-based fashion designer Katie McKay earlier this year.
Katie created tanks, tees and hats with fabrics printed in her original patterns. Highlights include
an Egypt-themed pattern, printed on jersey, and a snake with prey pattern, on silk. A feast for the eyes.
Katieʼs work ranges from fashion and textile design to art direction and fine art. Her subject matter is
often inspired by disparate facets of popular culture.
The Scarface pattern, which breaks down some of the movie’s scenes and themes into a multi-perspective composition:
Katie’s sense of 2-d narrative representation is pure wonderment, conjuring up the compositions of Islamic illuminations from the 1500ʼs or even the surrealist in-your-face world of Robert Williams.
Katie’s fashion design brings to mind the mind-blowing work of Chinese-American, San Francisco-based, fashion designer Kaisik Wong, who dressed flashy acts from the 70′s such as the incomparable funk diva Betty Davis and The Cockettes.
As with Wong, Katie’s aesthetic procures the occult, almost in general terms, as a vehicle to imagine and produce a world full of ceremonial attitude.
Commonly Katie’s subjects represent occult imaginaries of supernatural proportions themselves, as she has interpreted Sun Ra’s idiosyncratic universe through graphic renderings, patterns and most recently a painted mural in Brooklyn, NY:
Katie manages to find and rearrange the ornamentation imbued in our cultural narratives – from Egyptian mythology to S&M culture to Scarface.
Though touching on fundamentals of recent fashion – loud colors, heavy patterning, neo-tribalism, neo-psychedelia (found in some fashion of the whites gone wild and hip-hop youth cultures), Katie’s composition are so unique, perceptive and timeless, they surpass all expectations. Think Sun Ra!
Katie has also developed the logo of Jessica 6, and art direction for both Jessica 6 and Midnight Magic’s cover art (seen here featuring original artwork by Pilar Wiley).