I had seen Morandi’s work in Switzerland at the Sammlung Hahnloser in Winterthur and traveled to the Giorgio Morandi Museum in Bologna, Italy, in 2004 to learn more about him. I was moved by the way in which he seemed to articulate a significant visual language throughout his lifetime. The Morandis, in all their pastel glory, absorbed light in a very gentle way—like the sunlight on a summer morning piercing through layers of dew. In his paintings (such as Blue Vase and Other Objects, 1920, top right), you have smoky pastel lemons, watery blues, dusty beiges, taupes, and greens. I wanted this otherworldly mood in my fabrics, so I created dresses with layers of chiffon and open seams. We also showed our first ever photo print in this collection, rendered in two layers of fabric, and created the Amulette dress, for which leather amulets were molded on nude organza. Since then, such prints have been a key component of my work—a kind of continuation of the Akris heritage of embroidery—and a way of combining art and technology.
Styled by Edward Enninful