Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Wearable Art of Kaisik Wong

San Francisco designer Kaisik Wong was the pioneer of wearable art, and his work remains incomparably exquisite and dazzling! His pieces, mostly entirely handmade without patterns, were brilliant statements of escapism during a tumultuous time and era when handmade clothing became popular as an expression against materialism; a celebration of uniqueness. "He really bridged the gap between the hippie movement and the glam-rock movement," wrote Jon Alain Guzik, author of Radiate: The Life and Work of Kaisik Wong.

Wong designed extravagant costumes that channeled ancient (and future!) civilizations: combining kimonos, tunics, tapestries, piping and padding, layers of sequins, embroideries and appliqués, shapes of ancient Egypt, Mayan and Chinese textiles among others, to concoct a magical fusion of fashion. “I like the progressive state, the forward movement, the concept of the Aquarian Age,” he said.

His glittering visions are trips to different lands and dimensions, otherworldly fantasies... and as can be proven by their viewing these decades later, truly timeless!

Betty Davis wearing a Kaisik Wong design for her 1974 album They Say I'm Different

From the restrospective exhibit of Wong's designs, presented by Cameron Silver of Decades in Los Angeles, 2002

"A still from the incomplete film project Monkey, which was to be a collaboration between Steven Arnold and Kaisik Wong, pictured here in make-up and costume as the story's protagonist, Monkey."

"I think the whole body should be a jeweled, radiating beauty."
Kaisik Wong: 1950-1990

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