Created by American artist, Swain McCaughrin,
MISASSEMBLED as an art concept started in New York City in the mid 2000s, when Swain discovered the creative freedom in underground nightlife. Fueled by a fluorescent world of blacklight and music, she began folding paper and vinyl to make large scale, origami-like installations for warehouse parties. With her self-taught sewing and fashion design skills, her installations evolved into sculptural geometric designs to wear, merging art with fashion and movement with sculpture. She continued to expand the idea of wearing sculptures by creating headpieces, jewelry, and body sculptures from wood, paper, and PVC.
The brand was born in Berlin in 2018, as a way to make Swain’s sculptures more accessible and wearable. By using the latest in 3D-printing technology, she has brought new life into her art as ready-to-wear sculptures made of materials including steel, silver, and brass.
Committed to environmental and social responsibility, MISASSEMBLED operates on a small scale and carefully sources materials locally for production.”
由美国艺术家Swain McCaughrin创作的 MISASSEMBLED是 2000 年代中期在纽约市开始的一种艺术概念，当时 Swain 发现了地下夜生活的创作自由。在充满黑光和音乐的荧光世界的推动下，她开始折叠纸和乙烯基，为仓库聚会制作大型折纸式装置。凭借她自学的缝纫和时装设计技能，她的装置演变成可穿戴的雕塑几何设计，将艺术与时尚、运动与雕塑融为一体。她通过用木头、纸和 PVC 制作头饰、珠宝和人体雕塑，继续扩展佩戴雕塑的想法。
Your brand’s statement is “Wearable Luxury from the Future”. How did your vision about your brand start and where do your key inspirations come from?
My interests began in the underground NYC party scene. I started creating wearable sculptures for the events, and while I still make large wearables, I became inspired to reimagine that vision in a smaller format more suitable for people who are looking to better express their individuality in a refined way. The sculptural jewelry was born out of that concept.
Tell us about your background. What was your first experience designing something? Was your vision clear from your early life that you would someday become a designer? How did you choose the name “MISASSEMBLED”?
I have always created, since childhood – art, clothes, jewelry, accessories – and then in college focused on sculptures in steel, wood, and stone. The first thing I remember making as a child was a handbag out of an old pair of jeans. I did this a lot throughout my life – rearranging the original design into something else. When I first started creating my outfits for parties, I only used what I had – paper, clothing, random materials. One day while I was working on something, the word MISASSEMBLED popped into my brain. I transformed materials into an outfit, and that outfit transformed me. It was like stepping into a new personality. Although I don’t do that so much with my current work, my intention with the concept still exists – to transform one mood into another when you wear something that alters how you feel about yourself. I had no idea I would become a designer until later – I just kept making things until it became my life.
我从小就一直在创作——艺术、衣服、珠宝、配饰——然后在大学里专注于钢、木和石头的雕塑。我记得小时候做的第一件事是用一条旧牛仔裤制作一个手提包。在我的一生中，我经常这样做 – 将原始设计重新排列成其他东西。当我第一次开始为派对设计服装时，我只使用我拥有的东西——纸、衣服、随机材料。有一天，当我在做某事时，我的脑海中突然出现了 MISASSEMBLED 这个词。我把材料变成了一套衣服，那套衣服改变了我。这就像踏入了一个新的个性。虽然我目前的工作并没有做那么多，但我对这个概念的意图仍然存在——当你穿着改变你对自己感觉的东西时，将一种情绪转变为另一种情绪。直到后来我才知道我会成为一名设计师——我只是不断地制作东西，直到它成为我的生活。
Your current collection took two years to finalise the beautifully crafted and solid pieces. Tell us about the process behind it. What’s the secret to making them so perfect?
All of my pieces begin as a freestanding sculpture. Once the aesthetics are right and the sculpture can stand on its own as a piece of art, I then scale it down and figure out how to attach it to the body, with functional details such as adjustable straps, hooks for earrings and so on. Finally, each piece is hand-finished to add patinas, textures, and other details, so that each piece is as unique as its owner.
Do you have any advice for a new designer to help define their vision when starting a new project?
It’s good to focus on making art that you personally love. If an artist adjusts their vision to fit the expectations of other people, they are limiting themselves creatively and are unlikely to produce truly exceptional work. It’s much better to make the art that you want to make, and hopefully there will be others who love it too. My advice when starting something new: Just start playing around with stuff and see where it takes you!
Do you have a mentor? Is there one person you admire the most?
My influences are kind of all over the place. I can’t really name any single influence which informs my art. It’s a combination of a variety of diverse interests which somehow come together and provide inspiration.
You took a lot of inspiration from NYC’s nightlife and your activity with costumes and art installations for the warehouse parties. Have you ever considered implementing that idea with other projects?
This is a good example of what I mentioned about being inspired by combining different ideas. I think it would be fun to do a fashion show, but incorporate elements of underground nightlife. When you’re pushing the limits, it’s good for it to feel a little dangerous.
Who are some of your favourite artists who you’d like to see wearing your pieces?
Some of them already do! I created the giant spiked collar IAMX wore on his European tour a couple of years ago. I’ve also designed various pieces for Corlyx and Kosmo Kint. More plans are in the works, but I’m not sure if I am allowed to talk about it yet, so we can leave it at that.
他们中的一些人已经这样做了！几年前，我创造了 IAMX 在他的欧洲巡演中穿的巨大尖刺衣领。我还为 Corlyx 和 Kosmo Kint 设计了各种作品。更多的计划正在制定中，但我不确定是否允许我谈论它，所以我们可以就此搁置。
On your website it says: “Each item is made-to-order, eliminating waste and excess, while ensuring we deliver the best quality and craftsmanship possible. Our items are exclusively assembled and packaged in custom gift boxes made from recycled materials sent to you from our studio.” You have a sustainable approach for a better life on our planet. How do you see this relating to the future of fashion?
Honestly, what you often see happening today in the fashion industry does not make sense to me. A lot of stuff — even if it’s labeled eco-friendly — is not actually made to last. Of course part of sustainability is creating things in an environmentally conscientious way, but what’s the point when a lot of that stuff gets thrown away after a few months? I believe in making art that transcends whatever is currently “fashionable”, and is designed to stand up against the test of time. My goal with MISASSEMBLED is to create art that people will love forever.
老实说，你今天在时尚界经常看到的事情对我来说没有意义。很多东西——即使它被贴上环保标签——实际上并不能持久。当然，可持续性的一部分是以环保的方式创造事物，但是如果几个月后很多东西被扔掉，那又有什么意义呢？我相信创作超越当前“时尚”的艺术，并经得起时间的考验。我对 MISASSEMBLED 的目标是创造人们将永远喜爱的艺术。
Interview 作者: Izabella Chrobok & Grzegorz Bacinski
Translation 翻译: Emi
Make up : Prinz Basil
Model : Lara Nachtigall
Music : Luca @wht_moth