Culture Magazine

Coffee Dressed – Wedding Dresses, Art Fashion…

By Aristippos

Posted by sila on February 14, 2011 · 1 Comment 

Coffee Filter Dress by Carol Ann Rice Rafferty Coffee Dressed – Wedding Dresses, Art Fashion…

"Coffee House" from Susan Stockwell

Inspiration is a vicious cycle. Sometimes it comes and inventive minds feel the urge to somehow manifest the fact they have been inspired. They then create, perhaps by sitting at the piano and playing composed music or by composing, or by creating edibles, cocktails or a heavenly coffee. But we know well, whatever the outcome is, it should bring new inspiration to anyone listening or anyone enjoying the taste of whatever has been inspired. A vicious cycle – a wonderful vice. I get inspiration on a regular basis. Many films, sometimes TV series, music, words, pictures… at times moments that seem to be unimportant bring crucial inspiration.

Coffee seems to have always had a strong connection to inspiration. The legend claims this, by portraying monks studying the scriptures for hours on end, thanks to coffee. The strong culture of coffee houses world-wide is a clear sign of which role coffee plays those inspired and creative minds. Many went there to write, others to create visually, but inspiration has always been in the center of coffee.

Now I just discovered another area where coffee has been an inspiration. Not only one of the oldest coffee cultures has a connection to fashion. An important part of Ethiopian coffee ceremonies is the dress every woman wears who performs this traditional ritual. These dresses are called buna, the same name given to coffee in Eritrea. In addition to this connection between fashion and coffee, another connection has arrived in the embodiment of coffee filters.

The artist Susan Stockwell (London) works with installations, sculpture, drawings and collages. According to her website, with these she addresses ecology, mapping, trade and global commerce. For these she often uses industrial disposable products that are part of our everyday live. I found her, because she has created several dresses and one of these is an incredible interpretation of recycling with elegance – Trayne.

Coffee Dressed – Wedding Dresses, Art Fashion…

"Trayne", the coffee filter dress from Susan Stockwell

Trayne” (1998) is a dress made out of coffee filters, coffee, paper portion cups and cotton thread. This piece has been exhibited in Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Fine Silver Gallery (San Antonio, Texas), James Hockey Gallery (Farnham, UK), Studio Caparrelli (London) and Thomas Korzelius (New York, N.Y.).

Stockwell is an acclaimed artist. Her work is accordingly coming from a demanding intellectual mind and has been shown in art circles which expect high quality work. But looking at the idea in itself and the creativity behind making a dress out of new or used coffee filters, it is certainly worth looking at a couple of other examples that put this everyday material in a fashion context. One of these examples is the woman who wanted to wear something different to her prom. That is why Aimee Kick created and made this dress.

Coffee Dressed – Wedding Dresses, Art Fashion…

Aimee Kick designed and made her very own Prom Dress with Coffee Filters

 This following wedding dress shows a clear playful character, but its Designer Angela Bright seems to take her art very seriously and has won a few awards while doing it.

Coffee Dressed – Wedding Dresses, Art Fashion…

Wedding Dress with Coffee Filters and Tea Bags (2007) by Angela Bright

This soft version of a coffee filter dress I found at sonyakarates photostream by flikr.

Coffee Dressed – Wedding Dresses, Art Fashion…

Found at Sonyakarate's Flickr Photostream

Carol Ann Rice Rafferty sees herself as working between fine arts and crafts. She integrates coffee filters in some of her various works, including this dress, which is one of my favourites amongst what I have seen until yet.

Coffee Dressed – Wedding Dresses, Art Fashion…

Coffee Filter Dress by Carol Ann Rice Rafferty

Coffee Dressed – Wedding Dresses, Art Fashion…

Detail from Coffee Filter Dress by Carol Ann Rice Rafferty

So, PLEASE, fall to the constant coffee inspirations and be a happy victim. Keep inspiring yourself and others.


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