Zoe Bradley Design Blog

Paper Artist Zoe Bradley Talks on How Fashion & Art Inspire her Work at Royal Academy of Art May 18, 2016 17:39

'Craftmanship combined with silhouette is the handwriting of Zoe Bradley.'

"My precious experience working with Alexander McQueen at such a seminal moment in his career, ignited in me a real love of craftsmanship and detail' says paper artist Zoe Bradley.

This really is where her career path took a left field turn. Instead of pursuing the normal route of ready to wear design, Bradley found a love and passion for creating extreme silhouettes in unusual materials. Working at McQueen's studio led Bradley into sourcing materials, such as wood, metal and raffia. Today, Bradley choice of material is paper. She has developed her techniques over the past 10 years in what she describes as "A truly unique hand sculpted product that celebrates the beautiful and natural forms found in nature."

The winged plywood corset designed by Alexander McQueen and created by Bradley for his no 13 show 1999

Ahead of this Friday's Talk at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Zoe Bradley will be discussing her journey from it's humble beginning to where she is today.

Fashion Editor and muse, Isabella Blow, championed Bradley's early work. Blow loved her final graduate collection. She made her stamp of approval by photographing it for the cover of the Sunday Times Style magazine.

 Zoe Bradley's final Graduate Collection as featured in The Sunday Times Style by Isabella Blow

'I was drawn to the spectacle of the fashion show that bordered on performance art' says Bradley. She cites Hussein Chalayan, Comme des Garcon, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen as inspirational designers. Mavericks in their design field, who were the exception. Not content with just showing their collections up and down a runway, they pushed boundaries and created theatre. Bradley knew she HAD to work with McQueen, whose vision she admired, respected and above all felt emotionally inspired by.

After joining the team as an intern in 1997, Bradley was given the role of showpiece maker working exclusively on the more unusual commissioned pieces that were very often not from fabric. Working closely from his sketches and specialist craft makers she assisted in creating some of the most iconic pieces in fashion, most recently seen in the exhibition Savage Beauty at New York's Metropolitan Museum and more recently at the sell out show in London's V&A museum.

 As Bradley will explain in this Friday's talk at the Royal Academy of Arts, these were defining moments in creating the spectacle and drama out of an everyday material. Paper.

 

The pleated paper dress designed and created by Zoe Bradley for Michiko Koschino show 2005. Photo courtesy of Ram Shergill

From pleated showpieces for Michiko Koschino to creating a magical christmas  window for London store Liberty, Bradley's path was set to become a paper visionary designer offering a bit of magic into the world of retail.

Work in progress: Creating one of the paper headpieces for Liberty of London Christmas window 2005

Other commissions followed from Tiffany & Co, where Bradley designed and created 146 bespoke windows for their global christmas campaign. Inspired by Fairytales, the work resulted in a perfectly executed story book in a glass box.

One of the five Fairytale scenes, designed and created in paper by Zoe Bradley for Tiffany & Co Global window campaign for Christmas 2009

From International windows that span from New York to Berlin, London to Hong Kong, Bradley has worked on creating some magical sets for advertising campaigns and produced detailed paper works of art for some of the best and well known magazines in publishing. Her work has been exhibited in Amsterdam and London's Sotheby's and appeared in numerous books on paper art.

A pair of gold paper shoes created by Zoe Bradley with Swarovski crystals for Sotheby's London for their Royal & Noble Descent exhibition. Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.

The 6 metre long Red Ruffle paper dress. Designed and created by Zoe Bradley for Sotheby's Royal and Noble Descent exhibition and auction 2016

If you'd like to hear Zoe Bradley talk more in detail about her life in paper and how fashion and art have really had a lasting influence on her work, please secure your place for this Friday's insightful 'In Conversation with …'event at Royal Academy of Art. Places are limited and the event would normally be open only to Friends of the Academy, who this week have been celebrating with all kinds of inspiring events from Talks to Workshops. The Zoe Bradley Talk takes place this Friday 20th May from 7pm - 8.30pm.

The Floral paper chandelier designed and created by Bradley for Burlington Arcade 2015. Photo courtesy of Jamie McGregor Smith

You can confirm your attendance by sending an email to the link below stating its for the Zoe Bradley Talk this Friday.

friends.events@royalacademy.org.uk

Places are STRICTLY limited.

There is also this link to our Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/events/176437826085716/

 

 


Paper Artist & Designer Zoe Bradley invited to Talk at Royal Academy of Arts April 29, 2016 14:32

Zoe Bradley was honoured to be asked by the Royal Academy of Arts in London to come and talk about her career in fashion and art for their Friends Week (Monday 16th May - Sunday 22nd May)
Above: Zoe Bradley at work in her studio.
A series of events will take place during Friends Week at the Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly. Zoe will be talking on Friday 20th May from 7pm - 8.30pm in the Sir Hugh Casson Room, The Keeper's House, Burlington House.
 Above: Exterior shot of the front & courtyard of the RA.
Its a week of events dedicated to the loyal Friends of the RA and a great way to thank them for their continued support. It's also a chance for them to experience events, workshops, activities and tours from around the Academy and beyond.
Above: The white 'Cinderella' shoe by Zoe Bradley. Commissioned by Sotheby's for their Christmas window 2015 will be on show at the RA event.
Be inspired by a visit to the RA library, the oldest fine art library in the UK, with a significant collection of books. Get creative with RA practical workshops from floristry to photography with expert tutors, working in the industry.
 Above: Friends will be able to access the stunning Library room at the RA.
Above: Work by Columbia Creative who will be conducting floristry workshops on Sunday 22nd May from 1.30pm.
Zoe's talk will focus on the link between fashion and art and how it has inspired and influenced many of her paper sculptures, from the couture style larger than life dresses, to the magical headpieces and her most recent work for Sotheby's which involved creating a pair of gold paper shoes and gold paper crown encrusted with Swarovski gems.
Above: The Gold Paper Crown by Zoe Bradley. Commissioned by Sotheby's London for the exhibition and auction of Royal & Noble Descent in January 2016. Adorned with Swarovski crystals and 3,000 hand cut leaves.
Above: The Gold paper shoes created by Zoe Bradley were based on an pair of men's original Venetian court shoes from 1700.
Above: The red ruffle paper dress created with 6,000 ruffles and red Swarovski crystals. On display here at Sotheby's for Royal & Descent auction in January 2016.
There are also talks from the worlds of film, music and poetry. Enthusiasts of fine food and wine can enjoy a selection of tastings that will evoke Italian excellence drawing inspiration form the Age of Giorgione.
Above: Floristry and Fashion - workshop with florist & illustrator Harriet Parry will be on 21st May 10.30am - 12.30am.
For creative professionals looking to connect with like minded Friends, the RA will be premiering a short series of breakfast talks, covering subjects from business incubation to creating your personal brand on line.
There really is something for everyone and as the RA celebrate a milestone of over 96,000 Friends, its sure to be a vibrant and busy week.
Above: One of the 'Ugly Sisters' created in paper by Bradley for Sotheby's London will be on display at the RA on Friday 20th May.
Above: Unpacking one of the 'Ugly Sisters' who will also be on display at the RA for Friends Week.
For more information on the vent programme for Friends Week please click on the link below: