Kaisik Wong


I recently saw a woman on the train who was wearing what appeared to be a handmade dress. The patchwork detail and the mashup of textiles reminded me of the work of Kaisik Wong. Wong was the epitome of the outsider as designer- he worked in the Bay Area from the 1960s-1980s, producing among the first examples of what is now called wearable art. Amazingly, he didn’t use patterns to create collections that veered more towards costume than everyday staples that would hang in a closet. Wong often referenced ancient cultures in his work, which was the main source of the fantastical nature of his aesthetic. Wong died in 1990 and every now and then, you can see one of his pieces up for auction for the price of a studio apartment. Here, a few examples of Wong’s work, including a cover from a 1974 album by singer Betty Davis. 






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