Both art and fashion have been ways to give our lives beauty. They have been ways we represent ourselves, and how we choose to express the world we live in and see. Both take time to conceptualize and create. Artists and designers spend hours and months taking their vision and breathing life into it. This year Denver Fashion Week wanted to bring these two not-so-different worlds together for a night. By pairing a local designer with a local artist and asking them to create a collection specifically for DFW. Both brought their unique vision and skills to the task, and all we can is they did not disappoint.

Madelyn Hadel of Rebellelion is a veteran of DFW whose work is bold and free. Take Hadel’s boldness and pair it with Ladies Fancywork Society’s funky crochet, meets street art and you have a match made in heaven. We wanted to know a little more about the process, and the concept for the collection so we asked how they felt about the merging of their two worlds.

Rebellelion. Photo by Rebecca Grant.

Denver Fashion Week: What is the concept?

Rebellelion: We’re focusing on texture over anything else & chose fabrics that have a lot of personalities and feel to them. Our concept is very cheerful and fresh since it’s a spring show, incorporating lots of color and movement to the garments. We’re pairing pin-up inspired intimates, like high-waisted bottoms & bralettes, with unique coats & kimonos that we’re collaborating on. It’s definitely funky!

DFW: How have you two merged both of your worlds?

Ladies Fancywork: We have been keeping in a deep meditative state to enable communicating through our third eyes, and transcending our physical forms to a place where clothing is no longer needed, and thus we can finally truly understand it.  Also, it’s been pretty easy, since we all enjoy bright and outlandish yet wearable pieces!

Big Daddy by Ladies Fancywork Society at Black Book Gallery. Photo by Lindsay Vandewart.

DFW: Are there any hidden easter eggs or themes in this line?

Rebellelion: We all share a slight obsession with eyeballs, so that will be something to keep an eye out for.

DFW: How are you executing the creation process?

LFS: We’ve been passing pieces back and forth to collage onto each other’s work, and it’s been so fun to see it all develop!

Questions for the Designer

Rebellelion. Photo by Amanda Piela.

DFW: What was the most challenging part of creating a line inspired by someone else’s art?

Rebellelion: Honestly, it hasn’t been a challenge at all! It’s wonderful that the Ladies Fancywork Society are textile artists, so it’s been a pretty seamless process finding ways to incorporate our work together. Their style is definitely a lot more colorful than my usual palette, but that has only pushed me to experiment with new concepts. I remember when we had our first meeting to discuss ideas they asked me, “How do you feel about tassels & pom-poms?” and at that moment I knew we were soulmates.

DFW: How have you related past and present fashion trends?

Rebellelion: My work has always been heavily vintage inspired, and this collection is unique because it’s my first time making lingerie pieces. I wanted to make some pin-up inspired garments like high-waisted bottoms but adding a fresh twist like unexpected textures and unique fabrics. I’ve always aimed to make lifetime pieces, meaning it’s not necessarily super trendy but something unique and timeless that can be worn for years.

Rebellelion. Photo by Amanda Piela.

DFW: Is there a specific artist that inspires you?

Rebellelion: Lately I’ve been completely enamored with the fiber artist Trish Andersen. Her work is insanely imaginative and so gorgeous, plus I know that her process takes a long time, so I respect that sort of dedication. I keep saying that carpet tufting is my new passion in life even though I’ve yet to try it, that’s next on my list after Fashion Week.

DFW: How do you look at a piece of art and translate that into a design?

Rebellelion: My process isn’t so much bringing an idea to life from my head but more-so the other way around. I am taking something that already exists and transforming it into a new idea. I take stock of what materials I have available to me then see how I can piece those items together to make a garment. I didn’t go to fashion design school, so I don’t have the proper knowledge of pattern making. So, if there is a garment I like, I’ll cut it apart to see what the individual pieces look like that way I can recreate something similar. Monkey see monkey do.

Questions for the Artist

The Ladies installing “Eye Love You So Much” in RiNo. Photo by Ladies Fancywork Society

DFW: Was there anything that excited you about being paired up with this specific designer?

Ladies Fancywork Society: We were instantly in love with Madi’s colorful and vintage-inspired attitude towards fashion. We work with a lot of texture and color in our projects, so it’s a perfect match!

DFW: How do you as an artist use fashion as inspiration, either in your work or everyday life?

LFS: As fiber artists, our work definitely has some roots in fashion, although we haven’t explored that much until recently and we’re excited to dive deeper!

Geoge at 27th and Larimer in Denver created by Ladies Fancywork Society for Colorado Crush 2016. Photo courtesy of LFS.

DFW: What was most challenging about creating this kind of art versus the kind of art that you’re used to?

LFS: Working on a much smaller scale than most of our projects has been a fun experience for us, as well as creating pieces that have a function in addition to form. We can’t wait to see people wearing it all!

DFW: Is there a specific designer that inspires you?

LFS: Does Lisa Frank count? As a group we’ve always been more focused on art- some of our favorites are Kusuma, Murakami, Pip & Pop  and we like equally bright and over the top designers like Viktor & Rolf, Moschino, and Discount Universe!

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