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Angelika Werth

Angelika Werth and some of her costumes [Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History, Nelson BC, Aug 7-Oct 17]

Angelika Werth: Ladies in Tents

Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art And History
Nelson BC – Aug 7-Oct 17, 2010

Angelika Werth, Home Sweet Home

Angelika Werth, Home Sweet Home (2010), Tyvek, silk, antique hardware [Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History, Nelson BC, Aug 7-Oct 17]

German-born Angelika Werth is a fascinating British Columbia artist with a passion for costume design. She creates what she calls “wearable constructed fibre works,” which include dresses, waistcoats, wraps and jackets with the convoluted detail and elaborate decoration of the Rococo period. Fashioning her pieces from rustic canvas tents, nylon tents, mattress covers and the vinyl “house wrap” used in the building industry, she applies her formidable experience and training to the beautifully tailored gowns and jackets. Refined elements include antique buckles, silver tassels, and buttons and beads scoured from Paris flea markets.

Werth’s dresses are ultra-feminine yet decidedly feminist and political, much like the 18th-century Robe Français, a doll-like structure with hoops and petticoats that enabled women to take up three times as much space as men and to appear more imposing. Her Madeleines, costumes for historical figures like Joan of Arc, Josephine, Coco Chanel and Gertrude Stein, incorporate elements of imaginary engagement in physical sports and activities. The current exhibit explores the idea of the dress as a shelter or dwelling, and the costumes have hand embroidered lines of poetry taken from the 16th-century writer Christopher Marlowe.

Werth started her practice with a three-year dress-making apprenticeship then worked for Yves Saint Laurent in Paris. She received a degree as Master dressmaker-designer before moving to Australia and eventually Canada.


Mia Johnson

 Mon, Oct 4, 2010