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Humanwear

Dorota Bojanowska

Dorota is a multidisciplinary designer currently based in South London. Before studying MA Fashion Menswear at the RCA, she graduated from BA Design at Goldsmiths, University of London.

She works in serigraphy, dry point, painting, illustration and speculative design.

Her work has been published in numerous magazines including Vogue Poland and Label Magazine, and she has presented at various exhibitions and individual talks, including art residency workshops.

Exhibitions

„Rzeczy, które mnie, a Ciebie nie” - Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Dolne Młyny, 30.09.2019 - 13.10.2019

„Girl Girl Girl” - Individual exhibition - Multi ArtFestival - Kalisz, 07.09.2019

„Girl Girl Girl” - Individual exhibition - CorporateIdentity Design Conference - Warsaw, Warsaw Stock Exchange, 25-26.03.2019

„Girl Girl Girl” - Group Exhibition - Must See: See&Say - Warsaw, February, 2019

„Girl Girl Girl” - Goldsmiths Graduate Show - Copeland Park, Peckham, London, June 2018

„Luxury Item’ - The F Word Presents:Fabulous’Fierce’N’Feminist Art Exhibition - Doomed Gallery, Dalston, 2018

Commissions

A Superhero style cape custom made and designed for the Feminist Superhero of the Year Award event organized by Wysokie Obcasy Magazine. The winner was Iwona Hartwich, a mother of a disabled child, who became the symbol of protests in Poland in 2017-2018 for the rights of disabled children and their parents.

Lectures

„Transforming individual experiences to unique and symbolic prints - The use of traditional printmaking techniques in fashion business innovation” - Corporate Identity DesignConference - Warsaw, Warsaw Stock Exchange, 25-26.03.2019

Art Residency

Girl Girl Girl - residency and workshops - Multi Art Festival, 01.09 - 07.09 Kalisz, 2019

Publications

„Feminist Fashion - the meaning of modern and multidisciplinary design” - Interview in The Shining Magazine online - December 2019

„Transforming individual experiences to unique and symbolic prints - The use of traditional printmaking techniques in fashion business innovation” - Printed issue of Quarterly Magazine Patent Office Warsaw, April, 2019

The Graduates - photo session in the printed issue of Vogue Poland, March 2019

See & Say Preview - article in Vogue Poland online, February 2019

Girl Girl Girl - article in Label Magazine online, 18.01.2019

Someone to follow: Dorota Bojanowska - article in Vogue Poland online, 01.01.2019

Dorota Bojanowska - article in the printed issue of KMAG, December 2018

Video

Rocznik 92 by Arek Kłusowski - one of the designs presented in a music video, 24.06.2020

The Graduates - video interview for Vogue Poland online, 28.02.2019

Degree Details

School of Design

Humanwear

As a designer, Dorota believes true importance lies within the authenticity and functionality of work. Beauty through imperfection, handcraft, individuality and emotional durability are the key values she follows within her creative process.

She explores the concepts of human identity and diversity, slow design methodologies and democratisation of pragmatic design and art.

"It is our responsibility to take care of present and future generations, whilst respecting the past heritage we have been given."

Dorota believes that by starting work locally, we can feasibly help others, and that the world needs to shift from mass production to more directly aimed human and environmental care. In her opinion, the relationship between designer and user needs to become the preferred alternative to the ”click and buy” reality. We need to realise what is truly needed in our lives and how can we achieve this by supporting and engaging in more productive and sustainable ideas.

The future of design isn’t categorised, it’s interdisciplinary and open for change.

Print — Screen print on white linen. The drawing represents various symbols that are part of Jade's letter. The fabric is later on converted into a unique functional clothing - workwear dungarees. The dual layering of the print gives a one of a kind depth to the illustration and colour and thus creates a unique piece of art for the individual.
Print — The Contract is a physical and digital documentation of the design process and a starting point for two potential outcomes. One being a newly created functional garment and two a revitalization of an already existing one, both additionally using serigraphy technique. In exchange, the user shares their personal story to be used as a symbolic drawing for a print as well as gives permission to stay in touch for any future collaborations and encounters, assisting in opening a creative platform for everyone.
Workwear Map — Throughout the project, I have explored a selection of garments for individuals including jackets, dungarees, cargo trousers, boilersuit and a two piece which you will see in the following slides. Each of them has been made with an aim to create an emotionally dependable product to support the longevity of our choices.
materials and tools — Each cut is based on individual’s measurements and preferences. Whether the user favours more comfortable fit with extra functional pocketing or a minimalist shape with only essential details. The fit can be adjusted at any time as this is an individually approached work service, unlike high street companies. There are no returns as this item is fully personalised until it meets the user’s expectations.
detail — Detail of one of the prints on workwear dungarees. The print represents the letter from Jade.
Print — Each print is a separate piece of art that represents values that have vanished in the mass culture.
Redesigned denim coat with linen scraps — This coat has been redesigned with linen scraps and turned into a multifunctional garment with extra functional pocketing and detachable rucksack on the back.
a1 — The aim of the garments and accessories is to promote the every day use of them. The objects we interact with should reflect our personal needs and preferences rather than remain purely aesthetically pleasing.
Print — I believe that through storytelling people will be able to find their own complex language and understand that there are no boundaries to one’s creativity. In current times, there is a growing intrinsic need for authenticity.
Two piece linen suit — Dominika (cellist from Warsaw) is wearing a two piece brown linen suit
Cargo trousers — People desperately seeking approval and living for social standards and expectations are not attractive. Being aware of those aesthetics and the fact they are continually progressing it is difficult to discuss whether our aesthetic experiences are developing in any deeper context. Can we still appreciate things that are worth waiting or shall we satisfy ourselves with easy accessed ones?Are we capable of accepting the mistakes, deformities as part of our experience?

Workwearism is a multidisciplinary project comprising ideas of authenticity, functionality and handcraft. Each individual has a unique story to share which becomes the starting point of the process. This work allows anyone to take part, and, in exchange for their knowledge/skills in the future, receive a practical garment with a guaranteed repair service. The simplicity of workwear cuts fulfil necessary needs whilst achieving aesthetic satisfaction. 

Each garment is created with a combination of unique techniques, such as drawings consisting of distinctive symbols, screen printing and made to order pattern cutting. The individual has a choice of purchasing a newly designed garment or forwarding an old/broken one to be altered or repurposed.

The project is accompanied by a physical contract and substantial documentation of the process. Dorota decided to use linen manufactured in Poland as its antibacterial properties, strength and absorbance make it a significantly more attractive fabric. This process of sharing stories and skills creates a platform for people to exchange and communicate their experiences via values of Workwearism and functionality.


Medium:

Mixed Media
Dry point — Every symbol is presented using the traditional dry point printmaking technique. It’s an action of etching with a sharp needle onto a plexiglass plate. I learnt this method from my mother whose been my influence in the creative practice
Dry point — Each plexiglass made from polycarbonate is a unique plate itself and can adapt various shapes and forms. The process involves applying ink with a cloth into the incised lines and then wiping it away accordingly to our preferences.
Dry point — The images present different steps of the process and the importance of handmade actions that are unrepeatable. This way as a society we can appreciate the tradition, history of our ancestors as well as learn that perfection shouldn’t be a social requirement. Once the plate is ready it is put through the specialist printmaking press.
Print in preparation — Imperfections make us unique. What is not normal is having a life that revolves around fabricated situations which we’ve uploaded online for the approval of anonymous strangers. The beauty behind handmade work, processes with its stages creates the mysterious symbolism that has potential in revealing the history but also shaping the future.
Screen print — Every page of the Book is a unique print that explains the meaning of each symbol. This way, every symbol can be archived for future generations to cultivate contemporary folklore. On the other hand, the full image drawings are initially printed onto paper. They can become a portrayal of the irregular, irreversible and unpredictable handmade traces. The final drawing is transferred onto linen with a screen printing method. Large format allows the printing to form in an unexpected way.
Final Print — Once the print has been set – the pattern making and cutting stage begins. In my cuts I take inspiration from old European technical magazines which help me understand the process, while leaving space to improve and change the design when needed. Older patterns also often mean simple and minimalist shapes that utilize longer.
print — Nothing that is obvious can ever gain more respect or excitement than something done with dedication of our mind and heart. Having personally and emotionally accepted these beliefs I’d like to keep aesthetically experiencing the deformities in my studio practice and broaden the variety of tools I’m using in each of the techniques.
print on paper — I want to develop the language I’m using in order to propose an alternative to modern and digital way of thinking - thinking that should come from our inner pure aesthetic experiences and beliefs. Our work should always be a representation of dedication and values that are meaningful in its content and history.
print on paper — The idea of losing something no longer seems interesting for people as our minds have been accustomed to the actions of earning and receiving in order to be happy. Our quest is to get, not to sacrifice. Everything is readily available and requires no effort. Once you get it you should look for another one, more desirable and fascinating. We can’t forget that these specific images and attitudes are damaging our perception of relations and other emotional attachments in the purpose of reaching others.
B1 — These materialistic visuals adapt a form and become non – transient in a sense of their relevance. We can observe how they preserve and change throughout time and usage and finally – transform or not their meaning.
Symbolism — A form of cataloguing gives a reader simplicity in finding the right definition, whilst not diminishing the story it has. The contrast is a manifestation of aesthetics that are not to be defined and the importance of emotions involved with every reflective aspect of such work. It’s my personal response to everything that is happening in the world and a research work on how non – digital presentations can be communicated to people.

The refinement of the process lies within the endless possibilities of experimenting with traditional handcraft. Having learnt the processes myself, I explore new outcomes and learn that mistakes provide now a rare originality in such an intensely standardized culture. As we live in times of highly digitally simplified language we may have forgotten the power and importance of words and allegories. Beauty has been reduced to a two – dimensional reality when it truly can be infinite.

I believe that through storytelling people will be able to find their own complex language and understand that there are no boundaries to one’s creativity. In current times, there is a growing intrinsic need for authenticity.

Whether the user requested a new item or is looking to alter an existing one – the first and most important aspect of this process is the letter. Each of us has a unique story to share. The question of “What has made you felt emotional?” is an opening to a wider discussion for everyone in the world. Each letter is personal and touching in different ways. Individuals share their love stories, coming of age, personal traumas and memories and many more.

This letter is later on converted into a unique symbolic drawing that is subsequently printed on linen with the use of screen printing method. Each drawing is archived and one of a kind.

The drawing consists of various symbols metaphorically representing the drawing and its story. Each of the symbols is added to The Book of Symbolism. The Book of Symbolism is a chronicle of all stories and individuals.



Medium:

Print
Masha — This is an example of altering a denim work that was given to me by Masha. With Masha’s personalized piece of linen I added additional front pocketing and functional detachable and reversible rucksack. She uses her coat during styling work on the photoshoots.
Ralph — This is Ralph, a graphic designer from England – wearing a workwear jacket in his studio in Deptford, London.
Dominika — This is Dominika – a cellist from Poland in her two piece set.
Aura — This is Aura – a multidisciplinary designer from Ireland in her boilersuit.
Jade — This is Jade, a set designer from West London in her dungarees during a set design movie commission.
Niall — This is Niall, a music producer from Camden in his cargo trousers while skateboarding.
Jacket — All the left over fabric is kept in the personal card file. It is up to its user whether they want to archive it, keep it for their future personal alterations or willing to share this fabric to repair garments of others or create additional functional accessories. No fabric is thrown away.
Upcycled Jacket - Agata — This is an example of upcycling one of the jackets with scrap fabric left from other participant’s design. The extra pocketing, additional cuffs and yoke layering have been designed to strengthen the already existing structure of this second hand sourced jacket. Every item can be given new meaning and should be repurposed. We often compare the low quality of current products with the previous generations’ significantly better durability.
Trousers (details) — Important part of the project is supporting more traditional crafts. I think it’s crucial to search for independent craftmakers and create liaison between different specialities. I hope that through individual interactions between consumer and maker, such businesses will be slowly revived. The advantages of creating communities are vast and result in democratization of design and art, help create local workplaces and convince people to maintain a direct connection in order to support sustainable life.
Trousers (details)

In these slides, I would like to present the final outcomes of the newly created garments for this project that have reached their individuals. The fact that they haven’t been made with an intention to become a capsule collection, they immediately became usable.

The second outcome of this project is the previously mentioned repair of existing garments. Nowadays majority of the modern society replaces their clothing every week or month as people feel obliged to follow the latest trends. The consumerism has a damaging impact not only on our environment but also on our ethical priorities.


Packaging — The final part of the parcel preparation is the wrapping. The wrapping paper is recycled from the dry point pressing and is used to protect the garment. The parcel includes all necessary documents from the start. Each wrapping paper is unique and presents different elements of the process during its making which is truly special.
Photo DIY — Another additional element of the parcel consists of short manual “DIY on how to Photograph” - once received the garment. The unnecessary pressure from fashion industry by presenting photoshopped models has a negative influence on various generations. By giving freedom and lack of rules being the only rule – the individuals can decide how they want to be viewed in their most natural circumstances. There is no need to use professional equipment or studio. The right moment can be now and here.
Linen manufacturing — For this project I decided to use solely linen, exclusively manufactured in Poland. Its history is quite significant in Polish tradition and evokes personal sentiments. Linen being a strong and absorbent natural material has been used previously for practical clothing. It resists dirt and stains and withstands hot temperatures. I have been in touch with certain polish suppliers to find out more about the unique properties. I hope through my work I can present linen as an attractive alternative.
Plexiglass pieces — Polycarbonate belonging to a group of thermoplastic polymers containing carbonate groups in their chemical structure have some distinctively characteristic features in its substantial form. It’s a strong and tough material that can be easily molded and thermoformed, but cannot be broken easily with a hammer (yet with a human’s foot under the right angle). Once broken, it falls into irregular, unintentionally deformed pieces. The process of engraving can begin as soon as the intender of breakage accepts it.
Printing in progress
pattern cutting — Having taken inspiration from different workwear brands such as Ford, Carhartt and others – I believe the simplicity of the functional design fulfils the necessary needs while leaving aesthetic satisfaction.
parcel preparation — As the final stage approaches - every individual receives a parcel, with screen printed zine including the most important information about the process. I believe a strong and clear visual communication format is essential in every industry. This way, every design decision can be communicated in a transparent and informative way.
floral motif detail — It is one’s own journey to experience and find the answers. Art is the expression of the mystery of our existence, and aesthetics cannot therefore perform the ignorant role of only pleasing the audience. Its role should be thought - provoking and reflective.

As the final stage approaches - every individual receives a parcel, with screen printed zine including the most important information about the process.

I believe a strong and clear visual communication format is essential in every industry. This way, every design decision can be communicated in a transparent and informative way.


Medium:

Mixed Materials