When walking into the corridor of Sotheby’s venue in London’s New Bond Street to attend a Conversation About Modern Art held in collaboration with Burberry, a serene atmosphere floats in the air.
It might be due to the refined interior at Sotheby’s or it might be because the works of Stanley Cursiter, Joan Eardley or John Duncan Fergusson peacefully encompassing it’s walls. This is the same feeling one has when visiting the quiet but energetic workshop of a painter, a fashion designer or a sculptor, where imagination meets hands crafting, paint brushes or sewing machines.
This is a point Sotheby’s Head of British Art Frances Christies and Harper’s Bazaar UK Editor-at-Large Justine Picardie would probably agree on; the two hosts of the event led the discussion highlighting the collision between modern art and haute couture, where the tools, methods and reflections can easily be reconciled. Here and there, the colours reign in confidence, the touch of human hand and the emotional appeal are highly perceptible.
Confronting the new and the old, the conversation was passionately driven by Frances Christies, who led Justine Picardie to unveil the behind-the-scenes mysteries of editorials and Burberry fashion collections. Founded in 1856, Burberry is indeed the most accurate illustration of how modern art and garment are intertwined: the fashion house has always been inspired by the country’s surroundings, landscapes, weather and noises, using every sense to create acclaimed collections throughout the years. British artist David Hockney’s work can be reflected in Christopher Bailey’s Fall 2013 campaigns for instance – think autumnal skies, contrast of tones and heavy colours – while British decorative art set the tone of Burberry’s latest renowned campaigns.
Minutiae is key in a world where two days are necessary to perfectly hand stitch a patchwork jacket and seven full days are required to set and adjust an iconic trench coat in a countryside mill located in Scotland. As in crafting or clothing, the most important is to create a unique and authentic piece, exposed to one or to hundreds.