wearable quilted art: gilbert muniz exhibit

While at Quilt Market in Houston last fall, I had the opportunity to see a special exhibit featuring the work of Gilbert Muniz, entitled “My Wearable Art Journey… So Far”. In this exhibit, Gilbert reflects on a decade’s worth of wearable art designs that blur the line between fashion and craft.

Here are some of my favorite pieces with Gilbert’s descriptions.

wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, hand embroidery, emblishment, fashion
Azulejos by Gilbert Muniz
Techniques: Hand-embroidered and embellished, machine pieced and quilted
Artist Description: My obsession with screen printing came alive with this piece. A local tile business closed and posted pictures of hand-painted Mexican tiles they were giving away. I wanted to emulate the various motifs of the tiles without doing literal translations. I hand-cut paper snowflakes, scanned them into my computer, then cut from acetate with my Silhouette cutter. I hand-painted the fabric base colors then screened over a darker color. All the embroidery and applique on the lapels was stitches by hand from hand-dyed fabric and embroidery floss. The smaller motifs were machine satin stitched at all the main tile intersections. The sashing in between the tiles in about 1/8″ wide.
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, hand embroidery, emblishment, fashion
detail of Azulejos by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, handcrafted. emblishment, fashion, quilted, suit
Raja Redux by Gilbert Muniz
Techniques: Hand-embellished, machine quilted
Artist Description: This is not at all what this piece was supposed to look like. I was originally going to have multi-colored Seminole piecing on the sleeve and the skirt was going to be a multi-layered, tie-dyed sari-inspired skirt. I tried and failed to get all the different elements to work together, so on the verge of giving up, I reduced the idea down to its core inspiration—India. Having a collection of wooden fabric stamps in my arsenal, I hand-printed fabric in a traditional Indian motif and simplified the skirt. The overall effect is probably more formal than I wanted, but I think the final silhouette is a very professional and approachable one.
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, handcrafted. emblishment, fashion, quilted, suit
detail of Raja Redux by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, hand embroidery, embelishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk
Vintage Archive by Gilbert Muniz
Techniques: Hand-appliqued, embroidered and embellished, machine quilted
Artist Description: I have tons of beautiful upholstery silk in my stash. I was in a “I don’t want to dye fabric anymore,” mood and dove into a pile. I had wanted to add a bustle to a piece for a long time, and the idea of an anachronistic detail like that made me think of vintage embellishments. I challenged myself to create my own beaded flower motifs with sequins. I used as many crystal and white sequins as I could get my hands on, and no two motifs are the same. The bias trim was done in the same fabric and hand-stitched in symmetrical designs on both sides of the bustier. The shape of the bodice was inspired by lingerie designs from the 40s.
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, hand embroidery, embelishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk
detail of Vintage Archive by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, hand embroidery, embelishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk
detail of Vintage Archive by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, hand embroidery, embelishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk, quilted, dress
Composition by Gilbert Muniz
Techniques: Hand- embroidered and embellished, machine pieced and quilted
Artist Description: When I made this piece, I was looking at several abstract expressionist painters. I originally wnated to make the entire garment from the blue and white loop fabric on the back, but quickly changed my mind when I found some hand-dyed scrap samples in my stash. I started to patchwork all the pieces and realized that together they made a dynamic composition. I tried to keep the stitching simple as I worked my way around the piece, but I made sure to add as much texture as possible with sequins, cheesecloth and beading. This piece won first place the year it was entered in the Houston Quilt Festival’s Wearable Art category.
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, hand embroidery, embelishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk, quilted, dress
detail of Composition by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, hand embroidery, embelishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk, quilted, dress
detail of Composition by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, hand embroidery, embelishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk, quilted, coat
Rojaku by Gilbert Muniz
Techniques: Hand-embellished, machine quilted
Artist Description: I was tired of working with complex cloth processes when I made this look. I have yards of traditional suiting material in my stash and wanted to make a wearable art piece from wool fabric normally used for tailoring. I reduced my normally chaotic techniques down to their core elements for this piece. The quilting is terribly simple and almost inconspicuous. I love kimono sleeves and hadn’t done them in a while before this piece. I got to thinking about the strictness of kimonos, and while researching Japanese theater discovered the idea of a rojaku character — someone reducing their performance to the core elements. This mentaility was where I was with my work so I adopted the style willingly.
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, hand embroidery, embelishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk, quilted, coat
detail of Rojaku by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, handwork, embellishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk, quilted, coat
Accidently on Purpose (front) by Gilbert Muniz
Techniques: Hand-embellished, machine quilted
Artist Description: Yes, I misspelled accidentally on purpose. I had wanted to make a backwards, inside0out jacket for the longest time and finally took the plunge. I used all utilitarian fabrics on the outside because they are typically only used on the inside of a garment. All the quilting motifs are very simple and basic like the quilting motifs on packing blankets. I restrained my beading and embellishments on this piece. I made sure to concentrate all the beading on the lapel—which is made of horsehair canvas. The skirt was really an afterthought because I felt the original idea, an upside-down skirt, was too simple and lacked personality. All the buttons are hand-poured resin
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, handwork, embellishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk, quilted, coat
Accidently on Purpose (back) by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, handwork, embellishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk, quilted, coat
detail of Accidently on Purpose by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, handwork, embellishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk, quilted, dress
Zapped! (front) by Gilbert Muniz
Techniques: Hand-embellished, machine quilted
Artist Description: This was an interim piece that was designed and made between two big projects. I wanted to make something simple that I could crank out relatively quickly; however, Zapped! took on a life of its own. I started with the skirt. All the applique is raw-edge backed in Mistyfuse® fusible web. I blanket stitched around all the edges, then added sequins to catch the light. The back of the skirt was originally going to have the workd BANG! on the seat, but I quickly vetoed this ideas as I felt that word might be a bit too suggestive. I settled on the comic book styling blocks of color instead. The bustier is quilted in the same comic book lines as the back of the skirt. All the fabirc was hand-dyed, and all the beading and sequin work was done by hand.
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, handwork, embellishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk, quilted, dress
Zapped! (back) by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, handwork, embellishment, fashion, machine quilted, silk, quilted, dress
detail of Zapped! by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, handwork,  fashion, machine quilted,  quilted, dress
Rumors (front) by Gilbert Muniz
Techniques: Machine quilted
Artist Description: This was my second piece for the Bernina Fashion Show. I remembered a story about Barbara Stanwyck in a movie called Walk on the Wild Side, where she plays a lesbian madam in a New Orleans brothel. When a reporter asked her about the rumors surrounding the role, she responded with “What did you think they were going to do? Hire a real lesbian madam for the movie?” Her honesty got me thinking about how rumors can get blown out of proportion. I translated this idea to the details of the garment. The hip pads, created from layered shoulder pads, push the silhouette to extreme proportions. All the rosettes on the skirt are scaled to be noticed. All the fabrics for this piece were generously donated by Cherrywood Fabrics.
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, handwork,  fashion, machine quilted,  quilted, dress
Rumors (back) by Gilbert Muniz
wearable art, Gilbert Muniz, handwork,  fashion, machine quilted,  quilted, dress
detail of Rumors by Gilbert Muniz

 

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