Artist Spotlight: Sarah Jane Sindler, CMOA Material Worlds Fashion Show
I am so thrilled to share with you an artist spotlight series to preview the upcoming Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA), Material Worlds Fashion show happening Friday March 24th at the Ace Hotel. Friday nights runway show is inspired by the otherworldly designs of Iris van Herpen and her current prolific exhibition at the CMOA. If you haven’t seen this exhibit yet, it runs until May 1st, add it to your weekend plans!
I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing 2 of the 12 incredibly talented artists who will be showing their creations in the show on Friday night. First up is Sarah Jane Sindler, the designer behind King Reld.
Sarah greeted me at the door of TechShop last week, eager to give me a tour of the space. We made our way around, past the 3D printers and laser cutters, briefly stopping to see where she teaches classes on jewelry making, and finishing the tour at her work area surrounded by sewing machines. There, her energy radiated as she excitedly shared the details and inspirations of her two looks for the show.
A Colorado native, Sarah came to Pittsburgh to attend Chatam University for the “once in a lifetime experience” of attending all women’s higher education. “Creating all of those relationships was a huge part of why I stayed in Pittsburgh, I created such solid friendships and collaborations.”
A special friendship in Pittsburgh actually inspired one of her two looks for the Material Worlds show. “The Bromeliad dress is called, ‘Hug me I’m pointy.’ It’s designed for my roommate who is a loving and kind person but comes off very pointy and abrasive. These bromeliads have a serrated edge and I’m sticking these golden points on them. I think it’s just an embodiment of her. It’s something that she's aware of and trying to figure out. I think we are such good friends that I can say to her, you’re being so pointy right now,” Sarah laughs.
You can tell Sarah is driven and inspired by deeper connections and meaningful relationships. In her artistry and business of King Reld and jewelry making, her favorite pieces to create are commissioned orders like wedding and engagement rings solely because of the relationship formed in creating those intimate pieces.
For runway look number two, Sarah was able to really channel the combination of fashion and technology by using the laser cutter at TechShop for her first time. “I think [fashion meets technology] is sort of beyond the wearable scope. I don't really feel like Iriss’ work is very wearable. I think having her work come in the mainstream scope is really exciting and to have her expertise at such a young age be so valued and respected is such an amazing thing for people like me who loves to make wearables.”
This waxed linen, laser cut look is the piece Sarah is most proud of. “The other day, I put it on someone for the first time - the dress wasn’t imposing but it was such a powerful look - it is God like and pure, statuesque. The fabric holds it’s shape well which I love.”
Sarah’s attraction to the waxed linen dress is an interesting contrast from her usual attraction to industrial metals with her professional metal smith training. “On a small scale metal smithing has really given me a lot of confidence and comfortability working with those bigger materials like aluminum or steel. And in terms of installation those types of industrial materials are super important with the relationship you are trying to create with the viewer.”
This show isn’t Sarah’s first fashion show, nor is it her first time being inspired by Iris to create wearables. “I’ve always been really interested in Iris works. In 2015, I put together this whole fashion show and it was this crazy, overly ambitious production. Iriss' work kept coming up. I was gaining so much inspiration from her previously in that show - this fashion show coming up was very serendipitous - I really appreciate how her gaze is beyond the now. It’s in space,” Sarah laughs.