The process of Sinéad O’Dwyer is a soft-hued, Frankensteinian endeavour; a slight displacement of real human forms. Her collection looks less like clothes than membranes sculpted and dyed, at once strong, breakable and alive. Up close, the material has the texture of frozen streams or pounding veins, captured with precision. This, something fluid fixed in a structure, is also a way to describe her practice.
Sinéad’s approach is essentially layered. Each of her garments is guided over skin, between folds, through moulds, and into casts – always by an actual person.
We might call this person a muse; one who is not silenced at the bottom of the page, tucked away under inspired by, but who speaks confidently, and also literally forms the collection. Jade, for example, whose body Sinéad remade entirely in clay. Her hips, her breasts, her butt, her stomach; the bulks and folds usually covered so adamantly in fashion, drowned in fabric or pressed flat. Her body became the base for a fibreglass mould, filled with silicone, creating a type of very thin armour. The final items are pastel, wearable body parts tied with metal and string, technically impossible yet stunningly simple. Jade is not made to fit a piece – you could say she is the piece. With her collection, Sinéad inserts new shapes into current fashion imaginaries. She asks, overtly: what if size was not a number, but a name?
The muse of this collaboration is called Ágústa Yr Guðmundsdóttir. She makes animations and distortions, and often plays with her own appearance. While Sinéad remakes her muses physically, creative director Jasmine Raznahan wanted to convey Ágústa through narrative. The images, snapped by Sharna Osborne, are screenshots from films of her turning, laughing and acting up – here too, the stills rely on someone moving. The setting is a studio space with Ágústa styled into focus, which also means the creative team has let the muse be. It is pure and raw, complete and changing. Jade’s skin becomes Ágústa’s second skin as Ágústa becomes someone else. The body remains; its stories accumulate.