In my painting series, Swatches, I take ideas from the Pattern and Decoration movement and challenge the fashion industry’s power to determine styles for each season by creating my own swatches of designed patterns through shape arrangements and color palettes on a square format. Similar to the work of many Pattern & Decoration artists, such as Valerie Jaudon and Joyce Kozloff, my paintings are influenced by sources outside what is considered to be fine art. I make reference to ideas from various fashion designers, collections, seasons, and textiles and use them to construct my own design, which I then enlarge and paint on panel.
Throughout the process, I contemplate the scale of each painting, conceived as a fabric swatch relating to the human form. When finished, I photograph the design, tessellate it into a grid, and manipulate the size until I find a clothing scale. Every pattern I design can work as a textile. All four sides must be able to connect seamlessly to the contiguous sides within the repeated pattern. This design strategy is one of the ways I make them appropriate for use with garments.
In NYFW Spring 2014 RTW, I transformed my painted design into a textile by reinventing it as a smaller linoleum block design that would work on a human body scale. After printing it multiple times on fabric, I sewed it into the structure of a skirt that I constructed.
I treat each abstract painting like a sample of fabric, and each sample of fabric like a painting; by doing so, I break down the established barriers between fashion and art. Increasing the size and scale of a textile designed for the human
form abstracts patterns and blurs the line between art and fashion, which puts me in the role of an arbiter of current trends in the industry. Because it is possible today to bypass the fashion industry through private studios and websites, the design field is changed by the Internet, and I am part of that movement.