Ken Scott: The Gardener of Fashion System
Ken Scott was a visionary and a realist who foresaw, when no one had tried to as yet, the “total look,” including furnishings and objects.
He revolutionised the style of 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Bright and sunny colours, unpredictable combinations, and joyful flowers became his “trademark.” Since 1962 he signed collections of clothes and accessories making him internationally renowned.
Scott’s rise was unstoppable, his production varied, and his research and method were avant-garde. His unbridled imagination and his inherent irony was accompanied by extraordinary technical skills and his most diverse creations were undeniably immortal.
At the prestigious Parson School in New York Scott learned much but that cultured and snobbish environment soon became constrictive and after three years he arrived at Moses Soyer, a school committed to “social realism.” A great admirer of Paul Klee, who he considered his master, Scott met Matta, Chagall, Rothko in William Hayter’s engraving atelier. In 1946, Peggy Guggenheim, with whom he remained close for the rest of his life, organised a painting exhibition for Scott in New York.
Among the various works during the American years, there were shop windows and backdrops for photographers, floral decorations and finally fabric design. Scott’s pictorial talent became his true “craft” along with his other many passions.
Scott’s style was free, hungry for innocent colour, primary and almost childish if the word is seen as meaning “pure.”
His works are reminiscent of Boetti and Warhol but the pop inspiration of Scott’s paintings (mainly flowers) is mixed with enchanting colours and shades – a cheerful and ironic touch which becomes a personal leitmotif.
“One day I started designing fabrics; that was the end of my painting career”.
This is the synthesis of a love story: Scott chose Milan – the capital of Italian Fashion, as his base because of its proximity to the Como textile district. Famous as a fabric designer, with a special talent for colours and capable of creating a real style revolution, Scott combined great technical skills with creativity.
He was the first to print his designs on artificial and new fabrics, inventing an “easy-to-use” fashion that could be washed by hand, dried quickly, did not need to be ironed and could be packed in a suitcase.
A chic version of flower power, Scott preferred quite simple and straight lines for his garments, to enhance and balance the printing exuberance.