April 11 2011
Artist prints are big news in fashion right now and, as Damien Hirst’s partner, designer Maia Norman has better access to their creators than most. She is a keen surfer as well as a fashion talent – she has a beachside house in Devon and has surfed at big-wave locations such as Mexico – and started her Mother of Pearl label four years ago with the intention of blending active sportswear with luxury fabrics and a cool, beach-to-casual-cocktails aesthetic. Each season she works with prints from a different contemporary artist – past luminaries have included Mat Collishaw and Carsten Höller.
This spring the honour falls to Jim Lambie. He is known more for sculptural installations made from discards and ephemera, and for Op Art-like stripes, than for the smudgy rose and spiky surreal prints he has done for Norman, but Norman likes to coax the artists she works with into new directions for her prints. Lambie’s prints appear in anything from jersey to silk organza, on T-shirts, dresses and jumpsuits – and even swimsuits and shorts that emphasise the functional side of the range. They team with interesting, often asymmetrically cut, plain pieces including joggers, sweatshirts and black leather separates and parkas with detachable hoods and linings. Prices run from £135 to £1,600.
Although it is stocked internationally in stores such as Colette in Paris and Isetan in Tokyo, Mother of Pearl is under-represented in London, so on Wednesday April 13 Norman opens a one-month pop-up shop (until May 12) at Other Criteria on Bond Street, a project owned by her partner that sells contemporary artwork, prints and books. This offers the chance to tap into limited-edition, wearable art which – who knows? – could eventually be as collectable as Hirst’s own work.