18 August 2009

The latest Albarn!

Jessica Albarn

First Liam Gallagher takes a dip into designing. And now we've discovered another side of Brit Pop in fashion. Say hello to artist-turned-designer Jessica Albarn who also happens to be the little sister of Blur frontman Damon. We came across Jessica's artwork when we spotted the Designer Collective range forthcoming from British high-street chain Oasis. Her range is but a handful of shape and drape sepia-toned silk dresses, but what makes them stand out is the non-in-your-faceness of the delicate illustrations decorating them. These are clothes not about fashion now, but for when you want to get away from the tyranny of being on-trend. And we rather love them. When we caught up with Jessica she was at home making a cup of tea, before heading down her garden into her studio to draw more of her trademark subjects: spiderlings, bees, roses, fairies, and birds.

GD: How did Oasis find you?
JA: It's a long story! Essentially, through some work I did with Helmut Lang. I did a dark fairy story called The Boy In The Oak with a Swedish publisher. Someone at Helmut Lang bought the book at Colette in Paris, and got in contact with me. I did an exhibition with Lang in Tokyo, and the Oasis team saw my work in Japan.

GD: So tell us about your family.
JA: I come from a family of artists. Mum (Hazel Albarn) works more in the sculpture area. Dad (Keith Albarn) creates art using mathematical sequences.

GD: And Damon?
JA: I'm proud of my brother. But I don't really like talking about him.

GD: OK. Are you excited about seeing your clothes in shops across the UK?
JA: Definitely. What was nice, they've been really sensitive with my drawings. It's a bit nerve-wracking as an artist when you hand over your work – but they've done a good job.

JESSICA ALBARN: DESIGNER COLLECTIVE, from 25 August, all £75. Go to www.oasis-stores.com

- Melanie Rickey


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