FMP Artist Research – Stella McCartney x Gary Hume

Stella McCartney has done 2 collaborations with artist Gary Hume, who specialises in continuous line drawings. One for the Spring 2002 Ready to Wear collection and one for her Pre-Fall 2014 presentation.

The first of these collaborations fell short with critics and received a lot of negative reviews, including one particularly negative one from Vogue. The criticism was mainly focused on other pieces in the collection, not necessarily the actual pieces with Hume’s work featured. Vogue felt this Ready to Wear collection “fell far short of expectations”, with the “flashy, boisterous parade” featuring “risqué slogans” printed on almost all of her looks. Some of the phrases, such as “Slippery When Wet” and “Raspberry Ripple”, that are printed on the garments, are called “artless wannabe shockers” by Vogue, and the other pieces in her collection are “uninspired electric blue sequined pieces”, “mini slips with trailing sleeves” and “dresses with dotted-face designs courtesy of artist Gary Hume”, with these last designs being of most interest to me. The silhouettes are a mix of tight, straight fits with flowing or detailed sleeves, but this is not what I want to focus on when researching this collaboration and taking it further for my FMP. The actual detail on the designs is of most interest to me, because some of the garments have Gary Hume’s continuous line face drawings on which is what I want to continue with as a result of the drawings I have already completed of the women who have done my interviews. I love the fluidity of the drawings on the garments because they are quite abstract and you can still tell what they are.

For her 2014 Pre-Fall collection, Stella McCartney reprised the collaboration on more contemporary designs and garments, with similar drawings on them, from Gary Hume. This collection was more positively widely received than the first collaboration, probably because times have changed and so has fashion and fashion is different nowadays. Also, everyone has their own opinions so it is likely that both articles I have read have been written by different people, but they do both come from Vogue. Vogue felt that only Stella McCartney could turn a “Pre-Fall presentation into a genuine happening” with things like “models zinging around in miniature electric cars, playing hopscotch” happening and with the designer herself mingling with celebrities. Vogue believes that Stella McCartney’s attitude is a “major key to their success”, because while working very hard, she still manages to make it “look easy”. McCartney was inspired by punk and the harshness of the urban environment for this collection, and this inspiration has came from memories of her older sister. She turned graphic drawings of female faces and bodies by the British artist Gary Hume, into patterns and mosaics on sweaters and knit dresses. Everything was extremely wearable in this collection, and I think this is what drew out the more positive reviews. Again, I think I will get my silhouette inspiration from other artist and designer research, but its the pattern on the surface of the designs that I want to take forward from this research and from Stella McCartney and Gary Hume themselves. I am really inspired by how McCartney transforms these drawings by Gary Hume into fluid designs on heir garments, and I want to do that with my own work and transform my previous drawings into textural pieces on prospective materials and fabrics.

Below are my references for this research:

Toni ♥


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