We love designer Zita Merényi’s Provo-CUT collection of seared-and-soldered neoprene garments. Forgoing traditional draping and stitching, these pieces are instead constructed panel-by-panel, pleated together, and heat-joined into dimensional, puffy, future-ish jackets and cloaks punctuated by thick, raw seams and unlikely openings. The gist: synthetic fabics melt, so heat, not thread can be used to join the seams.
The core colorway favors wide expanses of the industrial-grey synthetic rubber, accented with a single, saturated lime green or brilliant aqua. With the finer colored textiles, the designer chooses to use other unconventional methods such as slashing and pinching to give tactility and volume to the patterns.
These inventive, volumetric pieces reminded me of a longtime favorite book from my personal library —The Art of Manipulating Fabric, an encyclopedic text that approaches the material in an entirely different light than any other apparel how-to. Colette Wolff, the innovative, sculptural-minded author, uses plain flat fabric to create intriguing spaces, puffed-up forms, and airy volume. Surprisingly, she shows us no finished “products” and uses no specialty fabrics—with only unbleached muslin and thread, Wolff builds captivating landscapes and foamy, organic pattern samplers not dissimilar to the ones Merényi plays with in Provo-CUT.
Whether on the runway or as part of our next craft project, we LOVE dimensional, 3D fabric constructions! We think the key may be to temporarily “forget” that we’re working with fabric, so that we can treat it like paper, plastic, skin or rubber, and put it together in unexpected ways—a practice we might apply to other aspects of our creative and home lives….