Hormazd Narielwalla - The Artist Revitalising Bespoke Tailoring Patterns

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the studio of talented emerging artist Hormazd Narielwalla, to discuss the inspiration behind his fascinating work and to see a selection of his most recent series Le Petit Echo de la Moda, the focus of his exciting solo exhibition at the Indian Art Fair in new Deli beginning at the end of January 2014.

Having seen a selection of images from this particular series online I was particularly looking forward to admiring the work in real-life, and when I arrived at the studio, the vibrancy of the colours and textures were intensely more striking than I expected. Not surprisingly, Hormazd’s work is continuing to gain amazing responses worldwide, and identifying him as an artist of growing international acclaim, this year the Crafts Council selected him as one of only eleven artists to exhibit in the Project Space at Collect 2013 hosted by the Saatchi Gallery. The Saatchi Online magazine also declared him as “One to Watch” in October this year.


Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla
Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla


I was interested to find out how Hormazd’s fascination with tailoring patterns first began and I learned that, having earned the only International Rector’s Scholarship from London College of Fashion, it was at Dege & Skinner on Savile Row that he started to experiment with tailoring patterns. Here he wrote the tailoring biography of Master Tailor Michael Skinner, The Savile Row Cutter and, inspired by bespoke patterns of customers now deceased, he produced a beautiful limited edition art book named Dead Man’s Patterns, which has been acquired by several art collections around the world, including the Rare British Modern Collection at the British Library and the National Art Library.



Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla



On his first visit to Dege & Skinner, Hormazd was intrigued by the patterns concealed in brown paper envelopes that were destined to be shredded; he couldn’t believe that these beautiful drawings and paper blocks full of knowledge, history and personal details were going to be lost. Finally given set of patterns, Hormazd was never going to make suits out of them, but he started to view the patterns as objects in an aesthetic sense, and saw that he could revitalize them to create things other than clothes.

Hormazd has exhibited in London, Melbourne, Stockholm, Athens and the eminent Scope Art Fair in New York, however, his next showcase is a highly anticipated solo exhibition from 30th January to 2nd February for the Birla Academy of Art and Culture at the Indian Art Fair in new Deli. As India’s premier international art fair and a pioneering platform for contemporary art in the Asia region, the exhibition focuses on Hormazd’s most recent series Le Petit Echo de la Mode, in which he draws inspiration from the similarly named Parisian fashion and lifestyle magazine published between 1897 and 1983.  


Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla

Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla


What is particularly compelling about this body of work is the exploration of the blurring lines between fashion and art, and the tensions that lie between figuration and abstraction. In transforming the ‘do-it-yourself’ tailoring pattern guides into a cubist’s delight of abstracted two-dimensional shapes, Hormazd infuses his works with a sense of rejuvenation and revival. Re-using discarded materials, he reworks the tailoring templates into delicately faceted planes of colour, giving new life and meaning to these once forgotten and abandoned patterns.

Thank you to Hormazd for participating in such an in-depth discussion; I left his studio feeling extremely inspired! To find out more about him and his work please visit http://narielwalla.com/


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