Worn Out

Gabriela Serigatto's Hearts and Flowers

Worn Out

Gabriela Serigatto

Brazilian designer Gabriela Serigatto has been living in Seattle for a year and creates bizarre and wonderful crocheted garments. They're typically embedded with unruliness and twisting patterns, and have forms sprouting up, resembling the beings found in a coral reef. Many of these details emerge as she's working: "It's like when you start to do a sculpture and you're not sure what you'll end up with," Gabriela says.

Her recent projects include a conceptual neckpiece with a set of snap-on knit objects to rest upon the wearer's shoulders. The objects are valved and puffy and modeled after the human heart. There's also a headwear series, presumably designed to hold the wearer's thoughts in place, and it features absurd shapes suggesting coiled animal horns, or monocles, or bulky flowers, all wilted and otherworldly.

Maintaining this tone, Gabriela's line of crocheted gown structures are overlaid with bundles and lumpiness. Some have dense tubes in tribute to pitcher plants (these are the creepy ones that murder insects using decoy odors, escape-inhibiting barbed hairs, and pools of body-dissolving enzymes). One gown pairs spindly anatomical forms and bilateral symmetry, taking on an upholstered- skeleton-of-mythological-creature look. And in Gabriela's other designs, even familiar items seem strange, such as the pair of pleat-front khaki pants she flipped upside down and reappropriated into a dress. (The legs splay open to make a plunging neckline, and the fly becomes a vent at the skirt's front hem.)

Meanwhile, in a Wallingford teahouse, Gabriela and I flip through the pictures she's stored on her laptop for inspiration. There are fruit platters after fruit platters, with varying and precise arrangements, and then several drawings of a man with bulbs and leaves and vines growing up through his flesh, but it doesn't seem as unpleasant as it sounds. There's also a shot of an ordinary lettuce salad, strewn with vegetables, and Gabriela replicated the uneven texture into a yarn swatch by positioning the knots to build jittery wads, and this turned out very charming. Then Gabriela says, "I don't like only pretty things," and her other photographs are a panoply of nature's horrors, such as a squirrel, dead, in a jar, suspended by clear liquid. She was drawn to "the white of the chest fur and the bumpy shape in the front paw." Next comes a pair of foxes, dead, smashed-looking and lightly smeared in blood: "The image can touch you. You feel it inside." recommended

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Comments (2) RSS

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Well, maybe you should stroll through my house. I've been crocheting and embroidering my own designs since the early 1970s. I don't sell my stuff but I guess I could. I'm just a bit of a recluse, but you would always be welcome to see my stuff created over many decades. The other odd thing is that you might not find a guy (like me) that crochets and embroiders as frequently as a girl.
Follow your own art and in life.
Posted by Juan Alfredo on January 2, 2013 at 6:57 AM · Report this
sonic_reducer 1

I see neither aesthetic nor practical appeal to the designs.

But I enjoy reading your column, nonetheless. Please keep up the good work.
Posted by sonic_reducer on December 27, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this

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