Go (Lady) Gaga over SAM’s art/fashion exhibit

Photo: James Prinz, SAM

They may not be your standard day-at-the-office suits or even the sort of attire you can wear to the average wedding. But one thing is for sure, Nick Cave’s tailored suits are some definite eye candy. And you have the unique opportunity to see his work in person at the Seattle Art Museum now through June 5th.

Photo: James Prinz, SAM

Nick Cave, who has designed for the likes of Lady Gaga (go figure) tailors suits that are sculpture — clothing characters that spring out of his imagination. Stately guardians preside in shaggy, day-glow pink hair; polar bears wear sweaters that stick out in humorous places; and dancers are adorned with white beaded filigree crowns. Suits are constructed of improbable materials — buttons, plastic tabs, hot pads, metal flowers, sandwich bags, spinning tops and crocheted doilies. Multiple media installations remind us of the desire for these wearable sculptures to move and perform. Photographs of Nick Cave alone and a posse mixing it up in a massive street party show off how playful and unexpected his suits can be.

Cave’s “Soundsuits” have been described as a cross between Carnival, Liberace, Shonibare, Cockney, haute couture and African ceremony. He manages to make sculpture that combines high fashion, surface design, recycling, dance and sound. Extremely resourceful, Nick transforms the perception of secondhand or vintage materials and heightens a tension between the ordinary and the imaginary.

Nick Cave’s “Meet Me at the Center of the Earth” is on display until June 5th. Tickets are $15. For more about Nick Cave, visit Soundsuitshop.com.