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Afternoon Delight: Nick Cave Soundsuits


by Jerome Weeks 8 Oct 2010

The designer Nick Cave — not the Australian rocker, of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds — has created what he calls ‘soundsuits’ for years: terrific, funny, beautiful, spooky oufits that swish, rattle, clang and swirl, making any human into a jitterbugging Snuffleupagus. This is dance costume as scrap-heap collage, as musical instrument, as Martian shag rugs on attack.

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Afternoon Delight is a daily diversion for when you’re back from lunch but not quite ready to get back to work. Check back tomorrow at 1 p.m. for another installment.

The designer Nick Cavenot the Australian rocker, of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds — has created what he calls ‘soundsuits’ for years: terrific, funny, beautiful, spooky oufits that swish, rattle, clang and swirl, making any human into a jitterbugging Snuffleupagus. This is dance costume as scrap-heap collage, as musical instrument, as Martian shag rugs on attack. Cave is the head of fashion design at the illustrious School of the Art Institute, Chicago, and the video here catches him working, showing the incredible texture and detail of his work (he’s probably one of the few costume designers who regularly uses pruning shears and electric drills).

But the video really only starts to crank up when photographer James Prinz shows the soundsuits in motion, right around 1:30. So feel free to scroll ahead.

Or you can go straight to this shorter but lesser-quality video for some dance action: It’s a brass band soundsuit invasion.

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