The Great Grayson

Grayson Perry

Every year textile students of St Martin’s art school are given the opportunity of a lifetime: to design a dress for eccentric artist Grayson Perry.

The process is long with tough weekly rounds such as The Week of Dreams, where students bring their ideas and samples to Perry for initial assessment (hint: Perry might be a transvestite but she draws the line at embroidered floor sweepers and ‘skin-tight onesies plastered with swearwords’), Underpants Day and the final crit.

Grayson Perry Grayson Perry

Perry knows what he does and doesn’t like. Sportswear, denim, raw edges and Lurex are all a no no. As is anything that reveals Perry’s upper arms. However, it is perfectly acceptable to take inspiration from Grayson Perry’s companion, teddy bear Alan Measles, and depict him in all manner of ‘cute and rude’ situations. So far Alan has been venerated as Jesus Christ on the back of a pink leather jacket, depicted on a negligee in the Garden of Earthly Delights and been the subject of a grotesque, genital themed print called Fantesticle.

Grayson Perry

The Grayson Perry Project provides students with a genuine client whose strong, creative ideals make a refreshing (albeit demanding) change from dull, fake briefs. One of Perry’s personal favourites was a galactic dress designed by Ayaka Sakurai. The  André Courrèges inspired shape features a sparkling constellation in the form of, you guessed it, Alan Measles and glows in the dark. There is a playful element to the dress too; holes where Alan’s face should be allow bystanders to peek through the bat-wing sleeves (I have provided a picture below as this is, quite rightly, difficult to imagine. This could also be said of the Ejaculating Penis Hood Dress).

Grayson Perry

So far Perry claims there has been tears and latex-related disasters. I wish the process was filmed because it sounds infinitely more creative, inspiring and hilarious than all the series of Project Runway combined.

Grayson Perry

One final word of caution: if Perry refers to a creation as ‘a bit high street’ this is not a Gok Wan-friendly compliment; it means it is time to leave the runway.

 

 

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