Last June, fresh from a jaunt to Pitti Uomo (a Florentine fashion spectacle upon which thousands of lavishly-dressed men descend) I came into contact with BerriBlue, a Polish-Irish artist of myriad disciplines.
First scoring praise across Dublin’s street-art scenes for her creations as JTB, she ditched that moniker (but retained her appetite for explosive colours) upon moving to Porto, where, prolifically engaged in both studio and street productions, she began conjuring up cathartic visual narratives; each encircling topics of mental health, sexuality and self-identity.
A curiosity to re-stage street artistry in a luxury setting led her to launch a line of 100% habotai silk scarves, some directly derived from finished works (in the case of ‘Jasmine & Bones’, a series of large-scale murals adorning Porto walls), all boasting the same distinctive aesthetic with which the artist is synonymous: insightful and sometimes macabre subject matters, conceived in beguilingly vibrant colours.
Describing her silk kaleidoscopes as wearable works of art – “a thing of desire rather than an item of clothing” – each piece steers refreshingly clear of gendered categorisation, with BerriBlue citing Porto’s inherent sartorial flamboyance and gender-fluid fashion (the influences from which percolate through these scarves) as traits that Dublin should take serious note of.
“Personally, I think that there is great need to comfortably merge how we think of feminine and masculine clothing to create something more accessible,” she muses. “Not necessarily androgynous; a garment might look amazing on men and women in different ways. For guys it’s really hard to find mainstream, fun, flamboyant clothes that fit… [but] what makes a scarf something for men or for women? They’re all cut the same”.
Words: Amelia O’Mahony-Brady