The Great Marlborough Street, London window has had a spring makeover this week, with artist of the moment Zoe Bradley installing a Japanese hanging garden. I caught up with her to learn more about her previous projects and what inspires her unique approach to the art world.
Tell me about Zoe Bradley…
My work crosses many disciplines combining sculpture, theatre and fashion. I am passionate about craftsmanship and draw upon my skill of traditional tailoring techniques but instead of using more conventional fabrics I prefer luxury paper to create dresses, sets and bespoke sculptures for advertising campaigns, editorial, catwalk shows and window installations. My love of paper comes from a desire to find a material that can keep its form and can be readily available in abundance- I'm always looking to see what new limits the material can be pushed to!
You create spectacular silhouettes, what drew you to this unusual area of expertise?
After graduating from Middlesex University I went to work with the iconic Alexander McQueen. At the time my doily-punched showpieces in plywood for S/S 1999 became renowned pieces and this time spent at McQueen reaffirmed in me that my trademark would be to create spectacular silhouettes. After McQueen. I went on to produce paper showpieces for Michiko Koshino, which were recognised by Liberty of London. Liberty commissioned me to make a range of paper showpieces for their Christmas windows in 2005 and this definitely marked the beginning of my trademark of creating silhouettes with paper.
How did you approach The Mill window?
I was really keen to create a spring inspired window. I think 'Japanese Hanging Garden' encompasses this feel perfectly with the use of flowers and bright spring colours. I also wanted to include one of my headpieces, which are my most iconic works.
Who and what inspires you?
Both Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry are huge inspirations for me. They have created some of the most iconic silhouettes in architecture.
What has been your favourite project (prior to this one!)
Working with Tiffany and Co. on their worldwide window campaign. Along with my team we created 146 windows in total. These were a series of 5 intricately crafted laser cut paper sets based on fantastical Christmas fairytales. The fifth Avenue store in New York even had special animated parts that really brought the windows to life.
What's your favourite part of Spring?
The flowers; I love all spring flowers!
What else is happening for you this year?
We are hoping to launch a range of products later this year for Christmas which is really exciting!