Finding out about people that have been working with clothing refashioning and alterations in the 70´s, 80´s and 90´s is important for me, as the infos and photos from that era are hard to come by online. But Westwood, Galliano, Margiela and Gaultier were not the only ones deconstructing clothes. Today I found a new interesting figure and artist, called Christopher Nemeth. As all the other designers mentioned before, Nemeth was a skilled in tailoring and sewing. He did all the first pieces himself as a fashion designer should in my opinion.
Nemeth was a key figure in the 80s London fashion scene centred around The House of Beauty and Culture; of which he was a founder member. Beginning in London, and later moving to live and work in Tokyo, Nemeth garnered a cult following for his intricate cutting and sewing which creates the distinctive silhouette as he called self-portrait. As a seamstress and designer I think this is a perfect way to put it. Calling a silhouette a self portrait is very accurate term, as we tend to think of the pieces we make as a personality and a unique figure, much like if we were talking about people.
Fashion designer and artist Christopher Nemeth (1959-2010) was born in Birmingham, England. He moved to London in 1979 to study painting at Camberwell College of Arts, from where he graduated in 1982. While he continued painting after university, he taught himself pattern cutting and sewing to make his own clothes using post sacks and canvas from his paintings as the fabric which he started selling them at Kensington Market, London. Later his works were discovered by photographer Mark Lebon and Nemeth’s works began to appear in well known fashion publications like iD, Face, Tatler, and more.
In 1986, Nemeth moved his base to Tokyo, selling his works through a select shop Sector. Between the late 80s to the early 90s, Nemeth presented several shows including On Air East. In 1994, Nemeth invited Judy Blame and Mark Lebon to Tokyo and together they created a show ‘Hard Work’. In 1993, Sector moved its location and became his eponymous shop Christopher Nemeth. Following years his works were exhibited in ‘Dressed to Kill: 100 Years of Fashion’ at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra in 1993 to 1994, ‘Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s’ at The Victoria and Albert Museum, London in 2013. Across the years he quietly developed his aesthetic without losing momentum or needing to compromise, transcending seasons and trends, forming one continuous work in progress. He detested the conceptualisation of creative practice, placing the importance on the exploratory joy of making. Emphasising process over final product. Louis Vuitton collaborated with the Nemeth estate (Nemeth died a few years ago, but the brand continues, run by his family in Tokyo) for their Fall 2015 collection to pay tribute to the artist.