Foreground: gowns from Norma Kamali's parachute collection, that she created starting with an antique silk parachute. Background: three jackets from her Sleeping Bag Coat collection – inspired by a sleeping bag on a camping trip – a look that became ubiquitous for winter wear.
I was fascinated by Tampa Museum of Art's exhibit, Norma Kamali: Fashion + Art + Culture, which displayed a small sampling of some of the fashion designer's most iconic collections. I really enjoyed seeing the exquisite workmanship on all the haute couture clothes. But even more interesting was learning how so many of the designer's collections were both ground-breaking and influential in mainstream fashion. Ms Kamali continually used new materials in extremely creative ways to create beautiful and timeless clothes.
A collection of swimwear adorned with metal studs.
Norma Kamali was also an innovator in finding ways to introduce new fashions to the public as alternatives to traditional runway shows. She created 8"high cutouts of models wearing her newest creations to display in her stores, and also pioneered fashion videos to promote her work.
When I start a painting I'm working to define the shapes and values, then add the main colors. I don't want any detail at this point. I want the sense of light to be clear in terms of the warm light and cool shadows.
Then I add more detail and refine values. I keep playing with it until the subject comes forward and the background stays back. Here I made the background shrubbery cooler and more simple because it was competing with the subjects. I don't see it that way in the photo, but that's artistic license. My goal is to make the painting work, not to duplicate the photo.