ESCADA is accentuating its 2015 Summer Collection with a wholly new type of artistic partnership: “ESCADA meets THILO WESTERMANN” headlines an exclusive capsule collection created in cooperation with the artist Thilo Westermann. For ESCADA, his black & white series “Vanitas” was transposed from the flat surface of painting to the three dimensional idiom of clothing for a fresh and unique impact and look.
In “ESCADA meets THILO WESTERMANN,” introducing not only an exceptional collection but also a global art project that is inextricably linked to the oeuvre of Thilo Westermann. Motifs from Westermann‟s paintings have been printed in black and white on the finest silk/rayon fabric. The result is art come alive in breathtaking fashion. To do justice to this concept, the seven pieces of the capsule collection – an evening gown, cocktail and day dresses, a blazer, a top and pant combination, a silk foulard and a T-shirt are showcased as objets d’art on black busts in an austere, museum-like setting.
Thilo Westermann (born in Germany in 1980) is a young contemporary artist. He studied Art History and Philosophy in Erlangen, Munich and Karlsruhe and was granted Master Class Student in 2007 at the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg. He specialized in Chinese Ink Painting and Asian Art History in Singapore. Westermann‟s recent solo exhibition projects include "Vanitas" at Oechsner Galerie Nuremberg (2012) and a solo booth at the Preview Berlin Art Fair.
When ESCADA Fashion Director Daniel Wingate went to see Thilo Westermann‟s exhibition “Was bedeutet denn für immer” [“So what does forever mean”], he was astounded by the complex craftsmanship and time-consuming evolution of the pictures. Westermann had presented a selection of small reverse Plexiglas paintings and large Diasec prints; the latter represent the motifs of his reverse paintings on a magnified scale. The enlargement reveals that they are made up of individual hand-painted dots.
“Daniel had the idea of cooperating with ESCADA. My gallerist Annette Oechsner called and asked me to put together a few sketches of how I would envisage a collaboration. So I drew a few designs that were ultimately produced and are now components of the ESCADA Summer Collection for 2015,” Thilo Westermann recalls. “My basic idea was to abandon the twodimensional plane of painting and transfer my artistic concept to the three-dimensional language of clothing. I didn‟t want to have just a few details or themes printed on the fabric; I wanted the hand-crafting of the dot rasters to be recognizable. This way the clothes allude back to their origins in painting. In contrast to the uniform halftone you find in the print media, every single dot in my work has a different, unique shape that I originally applied by hand.”
Crucially inspired by American Photorealism and Ink Painting the artist Thilo Westermann composes his elegant still-life paintings using individual dots that coalesce into shades of gray in the eye of the beholder, lending the subject at first glance – the look of a black and white photograph. However, unlike the pixels in photography and the mass production methods used in the print media, Westermann creates his pictures in the extremely intensive process of manually setting dot by dot on the reverse side of a sheet of Plexiglas. Once this stage is complete, the artist has the reverse painting scanned and printed on a larger scale. As if through a magnifying glass, the enlargement reveals the hand-crafted quality of the work. In contrast to the monotone uniformity of industrially produced halftone rasters, each single dot in Westermann‟s prints emerges as an individually crafted tool of artistic expression.