Misha Nonoo and Dustin Yellin Collaboration 2015

2015 brought designer Misha Nonoo and artist Dustin Yellin together to design pieces for a spring collection. What made it down the runway showed Yellin’s quirky style of contemporary art and kept true to the clean and classic cuts that Nonoo is known for.

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Two Looks from Misha Nonoo’s Spring 2015 show

Nonoo has always been inspired by contemporary art and three years after meeting Yellin she knew that working with him would produce something great. She proved to be right when the pair debuted their collection at New York Fashion Week. I say their collection because Nonoo wasn’t just inspired by Yellins work. The eccentric artist was very much involved. He helped chose fabrics and had a greater role in creating the collection than just working on the prints, which were inspired by his Psychogeographies series. The series is an ongoing project that he was still making content for at the time of the fashion show.

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Fifteen of Dustin Yellin’s Psychogeographies series sculptures at the New York City Ballet Installation, 2015

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Psychogeography 24, 2012 By Dustin Yellin

Yellin’s extensive involvement in the collection may have impacted the decision he made, apparently right before the show, to make a well…unique appearance on the runway. He strutted his stuff in a halter mini dress and said “I just figured if I’m going to try something new, like design clothes, I should take it all the way home.” Taking it all the way home is definitely what he did. Opting to wear high heels and keeping his iced, I’m guessing coffee, in hand he gave a whole new meaning to liquid courage.

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Dustin Yellin on the Misha Nonoo Spring 2015 runway

Like the rest of the Yellin pieces in the collection, the dress he wore was inspired by his three-dimensional collage series. Each sculpture in the series is made of glass, collage, and resin. The collage portion is made from acrylic paint, magazine cutouts, trash he found on the street, etc. and anything from Robin Williams face to credit cards can be seen. Each sculpture has multiple collages layered on top of one another and Yellin described how the sculptures are made by saying they are like window sandwiches. How he creates them is like making drawings, or in his case collages, on windowpanes and then gluing each pane on top of one another so that they are tightly stacked. After doing this and looking at the sculpture from the front, what’s on each pane of glass comes together and looks three-dimensional.

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Two images of Dustin Yellin’s Psychogeographies series being created

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Psychogeography 41, 2013 By Dustin Yellin

Yellin chose to create human forms and says the depth the collages make depicts the idea that all of our memories are stuck inside of our bone marrow. The sculptures play on human DNA, in all of its complexity, and if somehow people could see inside our marrow.

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Psychogeography 43, 2014 By Dustin Yellin (L) A close up of the sculpture (R)

When Nonoo saw sculptures from the Psychogeographies series she was drawn to their texture, sense of scale and the femininity she interpreted from them. She looked at the series from different views and the vision for the collection’s prints came from looking at the sculptures from their sides. Despite this, one could say you get the most from the sculptures by looking at them from the front. When viewing them from the side, the human form disappears.

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Side views of sculptures from Dustin Yellin’s Psychogeographies series

You instead see an abstract piece of art which photographs were taken of to create the collection’s prints. Some of these images were magnified and a georgette shell, a skort and other pieces were then crafted. Not all the garments made for the collection incorporated Yellin’s work. Some of the looks that went down the runway were made to be monochromatic. This allowed the Yellin pieces to stand out and I’d say they definitely did. They brought much deserved attention to a captivating series of art.

Three looks from Misha Nonoo’s Spring 2015 show

Nonoo and Yellin working together also brought attention to Yellin’s nonprofit institute, Pioneer Works Center for Arts and Innovation, in Red Hook Brooklyn. In addition to the pieces they designed for the collection, they made a limited edition long sleeve t-shirt that was available to purchase before the date of the fashion show. It was made to raise awareness for all the good the institute does.