When Albert Kriemler stumbled upon Rodney Graham’s piece Coat Puller, something clicked. The work? A six-photo self-portrait-series of the Vancouver artist pulling on an overcoat. Graham, who’s famous for his use of costume, character, and portraiture, had captured his act of getting dressed and framed it as performance. At the time, Kriemler was deep into his own design project at Akris, the Fall/Winter 2017 collection based on, what else, signature coats. Here was art reflecting life at its finest. Or, was it life reflecting art?
“I wanted to assess and to celebrate how women step out and arrive in a coat, arguably the single most important item in a wardrobe,” he says.
Collaborating with the artist, Kriemler doubled down on that intention, using Graham’s black-and-white portraits on the backs of his eight final runway pieces. The results were powerful. As the models turned away from the crowd, the images presented with a flip-book quality, chronicling the stages of dress.
These one-of-a-kind collectors’ items put Kriemler’s design genius front-and-centre, and drove home his simple message: Your signature style should be unique. Just like your coat.
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