Without a doubt Dan Dwir, 20, is the youngest artist that has ever exhibited at the ELA Cafeteria Gallery.
His mother, Iris Dwir-Goldberg, successfully showed her engravings at ELA in 2009, so Dan’s inspiration is likely inherent, but he chose to take his artistry in a different direction, in a style all his own. He wants to become a fashion designer.
Dan has been drawing for as long as he can remember. The urge to create has always been very essential in his existence. His parents supplied him with materials, stimulating him to use his imagination and to let his creativity flow. As a child, he created magical beings of all sorts, like dragons moving and flying around in an abundance of color. Around the age of 16 he wanted not only to draw but also materialize what he put on paper. Fashion had become his favorite subject and he began to design garments. So the dragons that he had chosen to depict earlier began to wear magical costumes that suited their mythical appearance. Soon after that the apparel evolved into outfits for human beings. So much so that when Dan needed to come up with a main subject for his final exam at the “gymnase” of Lausanne, he decided to organize his own first fashion show.
This was a major undertaking. He gathered up his own models and singlehandedly produced a glossy brochure with a preview of the designs. It looked like a mini-magazine and he named it D-Street. Another talent emerged: he did his own shootings with the models, choosing inspiring architecture in Lausanne for a backdrop. The show was so successful that he was asked to do a rerun in order to accommodate his large and enthusiastic audience.
His dresses were not just innovative and well designed, with an emphasis on ladies’ evening wear, but Dan also wanted to pay ample attention to the environment. That is why the theme of his collection “Printemps-Eté 2009” was ‘recycled material.’ “I wanted to show that, while we are counting on our imagination, it’s always possible to create elegant and original dresses with inexpensive materials,” he states. “Secondly, as the current ecological-environmental problems are a challenge to all of us it would be interesting to focus our attention on re-using these materials to create new outfits.” Dan is sensitive to the transience of material and of life, and very much aware of the fact that we take our transitory reality often for granted. His designs for the Lausanne show all echoed the fragility of the things around us and of our existence, while Dan realizes that fragile materials need little to change or destroy it: “the rain and the wind could do that for example, or even a wrong movement.”
Among his designs are a delicate and beautifully-daring aluminum foil evening dress with a stole made by connecting hundreds of snap rings with which we open a can of a soft drink. He also fashioned a bubble wrap cocktail dress and created a rice-paper dress with a matching white hat and wrist accessory that is reminiscent of the 50’s “New Look” by Dior.
But women’s wear is not the only thing on Dan’s artistic wish list. He would also want to create fashion for men, shoes, lingerie and accessories, and loves to lay out the ambiance around a fashion show as well. His favorite designer-town is London with its inspiring and innovative trends.
When I first began to write this article after the interview with Dan last fall, he was actively pursuing a fashion education, applying at various design institutes in Switzerland. We were happy to receive the news that he has now been accepted at the Ecole d’arts appliqués in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
His ELA exhibit will consist of a number of hand-drawn designs of his Lausanne show paired with his photography of those outfits. There will also be some actual designs and accessories on display that will give a good impression of the creativity of this inspired young designer. Spring will be the perfect ambience.
Enjoy the show!
Gusta van Dobbenburgh
“The Beauty and the Waste,
Fashion and Garbage by Dan Dwir”
Dan Dwir fashion designs
Date: April 4 – May 27
Vernissage: Thursday, April 7, 18h00-20h00
ELA 010 Mo-Fri 8h45 – 17h00
021 691 1188