While getting my schedule of spring dance performances together, I came across Alex Israel's Jacket for LA Dance Project. I thought this collaboration was intersting and I wanted to learn more. I got in touch with the LA-based artist to learn about the jacket and here's what Alex had to say. To support LADP click here. Enjoy!
Benjamin Millepied and LADP approached me about doing some kind of collaboration. As the conversation evolved, they asked if I had any ideas about making something like a multiple or an edition that could be sold to generate funding for their programing. I immediately thought of the idea of designing an LADP "team" jacket--like a high school varsity jacket for the dancers to wear, and for the patrons to wear out of support for the company. The idea seemed to accomplish two things at once: the jackets would be sold to raise funds, and the jackets would help brand and support the company whenever and wherever they were worn out in the world.
Designing the jacket, I looked at a lot of high school varsity jackets for inspiration. I wanted to be sure to include an embroidered "Est." date, the company's logo, a couple of arm patches, and block lettered text on the back. For one arm, I created a palm-tree patch as a nod to the city of Los Angeles. Everything fell into place, and the color scheme derived from the company's signature colors: red, black and white. At Benjamin's request, out of respect for animals, we decided not to go with traditional leather sleeves, but instead to make the jacket and sleeves both out of wool. The word that seemed most appropriate for the back of the jacket was "DANCER," as first and foremost, the jacket was designed with the members of the company in mind. Each jacket has a small hand-signed tag sewn into the lining. They are made right here in downtown LA.