See Gorman and Artist Mirka Mora's Cool Collaboration

Gorman and 88-year-old Australian artist Mirka Mora have teamed up on possibly the coolest fashion collaboration ever

Mirka wears the Gorman ‘Mirka Dreaming’ dress $429. Ph (09) 529 2279.

Mirka Mora, the 88-year-old French-born Australian artist, has been described as one of Australia’s surviving true bohemians. She has contributed significantly to the growth of contemporary art, with a career spanning more than 60 years resulting in a prolific range of artwork, from drawing to painting, embroidery to sculpture, mosaics to doll-making.

Mirka’s whimsical work is known for featuring colourful motifs of angels, cats, dogs, snakes, birds and children. The Melbourne-based artist (pictured) has now collaborated on a 23-piece collection with fashion brand Gorman, lending some of her original paintings as prints.

The brand’s founder and head designer Lisa Gorman worked on the range for more than a year, and says Mirka’s work translated beautifully to textiles. “I love the unreal nature elements. Serpents, angels, devils, little creatures of unknown origins, things from a place that don’t belong to our physical world.”

Lisa counts the collaboration as one of her career highlights, admiring Mirka for her talent as much as her personal style. “Cheeky is definitely the word that pops to mind. She’s very independently minded and had a tendency to show her knickers (or lack of) when she was a younger lady. She has not become any less eccentric with age!”

Tell us about how the collaboration came about? Why and how long had it been in the making for?
The collaboration came about when I started chatting with William Mora in his Mora Gallery around a year ago. It takes a year to get a collaboration from an idea onto the racks. William commented on how amazing Mirka's work would look on textiles and of course I agreed without delay!

What was it like working with Mirka Mora on this collection and had she done anything like this before?
She's undertaken smaller textile based collaborations before, but I believe this is the most significant commercial collaboration that's taken place with her work.

Working with Mirka and her son William was a very nice process. They were continually focused on translating the artwork accurately onto fabrics, which at times required up to 19 print strike-offs. Sensitivity to the artists work is of most importance when collaborating.  If the artist is not happy,  the show cannot go on so to speak. Working with Mirka has been a career highlight for sure. She's an incredible soul.

Can you please describe her personal style for us?
Her personal style is very unique, and she radiated absolute beauty as a girl. Cheeky is definitely the word that pops to mind. She's very independently minded and had a tendency to show her knickers (or lack of) when she was a younger lady. She has not become any less eccentric with age!

What is it about her work that you find most interesting?
I love the unreal nature elements. Serpents, angels, devils, little creatures of unknown origins, things from a place that don't belong  to our physical world.    

The texture throughout the work, the oil on canvas, applies beautifully to textiles such as silk and linen in the collection.  

I was inspired not only by the paintings themselves, but the way the works can be treated on fabrics, such as repeating them to create yardage prints and pulling out elements for hand embroidery, and combining the work on garments with little mirror sequins.

How were her four artworks selected?
I selected them with my textile designer, Bonnie and William Mora. Mora saw the final collection before we went into creating the range. We selected works that were prominant and recognizable classics, with differing base colours to give us some variety through the range.  It was a hard choice, she has a decently sized archive after painting for 70 years!

How much does Mirka Mora art usually sell for?  
Mirka’s art ranges from $2,000 - $65,000

Do you own any of her art? 
Yes, I own one of her smaller works, it's an angel painting, my favourite of her characters.  She looks particularly like the angels in her work herself.

What other significant collaborations have you done in the past?
Fred Fowler, Melbourne Museum geology archive, Camille Walala, and we have a beauty coming up in October with a French design house called Atelier Bingo that is one to watch out for.

See the full collection here

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