Remember Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress for her marriage to Brad Pitt? Her children’s scribbles, drawings and messages were literally part of the fabric of the day, sewn on to her billowing gown.
And whilst most of us wouldn’t let the offspring loose with a favourite outfit and a fabric pen or paintbrush, the concept of personalised clothing is taking hold.
Artist Eva Meenhorst, pictured here wearing her designs, is bringing her canvases to life by recreating her own paintings on a range of clothing that can be commissioned in the same way you would a work of art for your walls.
Mother of four Eva, who is Dutch, is based near Yarm but her work sells throughout Europe. Her clothing designs have just been stocked by a boutique gallery in Zurich called Konig and sit alongside stylish pieces by Gucci, Dolce&Gabbana and Miu Miu.
Her clothing designs feature the key elements in her paintings and fall into two distinct styles.
Eva’s Rainmaker series of paintings features willowy black figures and these have been recreated on silk which has then been made into loose summer dresses with neck-tie detail.
She works with a seamstress who makes each dress by hand as well as accessories such as silk scarves.
The Rainmaker figures, which look like sharp silhouettes, can be used as a border around the hem of a drapey silk dress or as a striking print on the front.
Or, using a thick linen fabric and a simple shift dress design, Eva paints elements of the Rainmaker shapes to create a bold but unique garment.
The dresses can be made to order with any colour linen or silk, making them unique for any occasion. She has also just launched a new evening dress made out of a beautiful soft (no-iron) black jersey.
Another of Eva’s series of paintings is called Connected Forever and tells the story of a family’s life. She is often commissioned to recreate a family story through the paintings which start with simplistic, personalised drawings or words with the connection of brothers and sisters symbolised by a ball of wool which unravels through the family but is always in the background.
Her own daughter Hanna, five (she also has three sons), asked Eva if she could dress up too and the idea of designing and making a mother-daughter collection was born.
“People seem to like the idea of the Forever Connected dresses. In a very subtle way they reflect the character of the family demonstrated with a favourite symbol of a much-loved hobby or interest,” says Eva.
“They can be personalised which makes them meaningful and fun to wear. But the same is true of all the dresses, or even a man’s shirt for a wedding day, we can personalise clothing with design and painting to create something bespoke.”
Eva’s linen dresses are £225 and silk, £250. The children’s dresses are £50.
See more of her work and details of commissions on evameenhorst.com
Photography by Emma Heal-Betts.