Drawing Cabaret Couture – A Drawing Experience of Creative Freedom
One might be fooled to think that online classes can be limiting. That some skills are too hands on to pass through a mere screen. The experience of the Drawing Cabaret Couture class proves otherwise. We’ve had the pleasure to be invited to attend one of their drawing sessions inspired by the German artist Gerhard Richter: a sneak peek into a photoshoot editorial celebrating a bold collection by Johannes Warnke.
Drawing Cabaret Couture – A community for artists, events and global workshops
Founded by Artist and Set Designer Matthew Lawrence and Model and Dancer Janet Mayer, Drawing Cabaret Couture was initially focused on showcasing up-and-coming innovative designers. The company has grown into a larger community for artists, with events and workshops globally.
For a designer, the process always starts with an idea, followed by rough sketches on paper. Sketching is an important skill, as it communicates the designer’s idea to the rest of the chain of development. At the beginning of the conceptualization, it’s important to be as loose and creative as possible. Drawing from more abstract inspiration, rather than based on trends or existing collections, is crucial for that. Creativity is a skill, but it often gets suppressed in traditional schooling – young artists and designers often get so caught up in the technicalities of their work, that, somewhere along the way, they forget to enjoy the process. When taking a Drawing Cabaret Couture class, one truly feels like they are creating from the soul, rather than from the mind. The set-up of the class inspires the students to be authentic in their expression, and discover their own style through the process.
“We listen to the original story that’s given to us by the designer who hands us over their designs and then it’s up to us at DCC to bring it to life and to inspire artists on the other side who will be drawing it. With our performative and artistic backgrounds we naturally dive deep into the storytelling and narrative of the designers inspiration each week, we call our sessions a ‘drawing experience’ rather than a class, aiming to inspire and motivate anyone that joins us by providing artists a safe and confident space to simply zone out and create.”Drawing Cabaret Couture
Gerhard Richter and Johannes Warnke: A dance on the invisible line between technique and amorphous flow
The screen turns on, and you come face to face with a graceful, intriguing model, wearing a unique design, surrounded by a striking set. This is a live drawing class: no demo, nobody to tell you what to do. The liberating feeling of being allowed to just create, and let yourself flow along with whatever mediums you have on hand, is like magic. During our session, we got the chance to sketch and be inspired by Johannes Warnke’s ethereal designs showcased in a set influenced by Gerhard Richter’s later abstract work. The other-worldly set design allows the viewer to enter a trance-like meditation, bridging their imagination with the dynamic live visuals. It is incredible to see Matthew Lawrence and Janet Mayer put so much effort into not only putting together a unique concept every week but also following through with pristine execution and presentation. The experience is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Johannes Warnke’s sustainable collection is part of the extension of his graduate project: “Windows of Perception”. There are clear links to Gerhard Richter’s intrigue with unconventional materials and bold geometry, abstract style and indirect expression. The interaction between the model and the set creates an energetic dynamic which allows us, the viewers, to self-amplify the creative trance which is guided by the select playlist and vibrant garments.
However, the magic was not happening just in the photoshoot but beyond; on the canvases of the many viewers letting creativity flow freely inspired by the different forms and poses suspended in time by a gracious model Janet Mayer.
In Sunanda Docherty’s watercolour sketch we can see how the forms and geometric contour of the garments are captured by the artist’s imagination. Geometric shapes dressed in ethereal drapes and folds give the same sense of in-between being caught and seen, an experience similar to viewing Richter’s visual work. Both artists create in a way that is seemingly anti-art – or rather, creating in a way that breaks the barriers of what art and design should be.
For more details on Drawing Cabaret Couture’s latest projects please visit their website over at drawingcabaretcouture.com
I am an artist and multifaceted designer with a focus on fashion, sustainability, lifestyle, and technology.