World of Wearable Art Finalists Announced

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Amanda Kissling

We're pleased to congratulate Natalie Seagar, as she is one of 108 designers selected to be part of this year's highly contested World of Wearable Art awards festival.

As a practice that celebrates innovation and creativity, Jasmax takes an active interest in the creative industries; enthusiastically supporting a range of artistic opportunities, from our Tauranga Design Series to, this year, sponsoring Natalie Seagar’s successful entry in to the World of Wearable Art.

We caught up with Natalie to find out a little more about her influences, inspiration and the process she went through to create her entry piece; ‘Another Brick in the Wall’, which has been entered into the Creative Excellence section.

What were your influences growing up?

I was lucky to grow up with two very creative and talented parents (an interior designer and mechanical engineer) which has had a huge influence on my own design style and career path. Together they have a broad range of interests so I feel as though I have had great exposure to various creative areas including art, fashion, architecture and interiors.

Who do you admire, and why?

Grace Coddington is definitely a favourite of mine. She manages to stay true to herself and her style, even in the fast-paced world of Vogue, which I think is incredibly important for a creative of any kind. She creates work that is timeless, trending and effortless all at the same time.

What led you to a career in fashion design?

I moved to Wellington from Auckland to study a Bachelor of Design majoring in Visual Communication Design and Advertising. I’ve always had a strong interest in fashion design so I picked up papers during my time at university to keep a finger on the pulse. When the opportunity came to enter WOW, I knew it was something I wanted to do. Having been a dancer for most of my life, I have always found costume design and theatre very interesting and WOW provided an opportunity to combine all my interests and skills into one.

Your design has very distinctive architectural elements, can you tell us a little about where you found your inspiration?

I started with an interest in the form and function of a breezeblock - more specifically from mid-century desert modernism and developments like Palm Springs. For me, the most integral element of architectural design is light and how it interacts with form. So the breeze block seemed the perfect design element to portray this.

I also knew I wanted to work with laser cutting as a method, so my cut-out breeze block pattern lent itself to this technique perfectly. I always wanted to keep my design simple and with minimal materials as I think they are the most successful on stage - so looking at people such as Mies Van Der Rohe, with his “less is more” approach, and Zaha Hadid, with her heavily metallic and modern designs, were also influential.

What was your process in creating your piece for the World of Wearable Art?

Laser cutting was my primary process. I started by trialing the shapes I would use and what scale, then testing different materials and the different silhouettes, I could create with my chosen material on the body. It was obvious when I had found the right one; it was the most simple and most striking. For the undergarment, I decided to use digitally printed lycra, which involved a little trial-and-error, especially with the scale. I wanted to create the perception of depth using light and shadow hence the image/pattern I chose to print onto the fabric.

If you could describe your design mantra in a sentence....

"Less is more" is something I definitely try to keep in mind, although it's easy to get carried away! I always try to take a step back from my work and think is this something I would be happy to put my name to now? How about in 5 years? 20 years?’

For me it’s important to expose yourself to as many skills as possible, I like to try a bit of everything because I think it can be so beneficial for your work if you are able to see things from another perspective or apply a technique you might not normally use - I think that’s where the most interesting and unique work comes from!

We wish you all the best Natalie!

You can see Natalie’s work on display at the World of Wearable Art Awards Show at the TSB Arena in Wellington from 24 September to 11 October. Get your tickets here:

Natalie's design was featured in The Huffington Post's 'Best Images from Around the World' pages alongside some famous faces, see here.

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