Dress to Kill - War Boutique Interviewed
Stab vests for South London primary schools, bulletproof pinstripe suits, and a pacifist rebranding for the Met – Watch War Boutique, the artist behind Smile and Luminal Shield, tell the stories behind the landmark pieces from his career so far to our Steve Beale in this kind-of video interview.
War Boutique's art combines military technology, activist and rave culture, historical examination, and sartorial flair. He's collaborated with Banksy, Sarah Lucas, Alexander McQueen, Maharishi, and Savile Row tailors Gieves and Hawkes. Here's his piece exhibited at the Bedlam exhibition at The Old Vic Tunnels in 2012.
Originally from Glasgow, War Boutique (real name – Kevin) became interested in theatrical set and costume design before studying first at the Scottish College of Textiles, then on the fine art course at Goldsmiths College in London, where his first brush with the media came in the form of a now infamous cameo on the BBC4 documentary But is it Art?
Beyond his art career Kevin works designing high specification technical wear for frontline workers. He has designed and engineered bespoke equipment for The Metropolitan Police, the Italian Cabinieri, and Mexico City Police, plus the British, Indian, Egyptian, Pakistani and Algerian armed forces. These organisations are often supportive of his artistic work.