Collin Bunting, Fashion Designer/ Costume Designer

Collin Bunting

Made in Chicago

I began my artistic career as a writer and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2003. Image and metaphor play a strong role in my designs. My work has graced Judson Church, the MCA, The Dance Center of Columbia College and others, and has been funded by The New York Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, DCASE, The MacAurthur Fellowship, and the Chicago Dancemaker's Forum.

Currently, I am collaborating with Ray Borchers on our fashion line, "boy names." boy names is a collaboration between two “grown a..” women. It is with this style of energy and irony that our work is presented—handmade art garments and accessories that elude conventional expectations. Our creative motives are androgynous and informed by the question, “What is the best way to encourage the conversation we want to have?” We are influenced and energized by investigating the drama of forces suspended in alleged opposition.

Created almost a year into the pandemic, boy names’ response to the “new normal” is fierce sweeps of color and bold lines and images superimposing a suspected vulnerability in a suddenly new landscape. Using traditional ruler and paper design, block printing, hand painting, embroidery, applique’ and dyeing we make work that is the exact opposite of fast fashion. Our process consists of using time-tested slow techniques with the intention of creating pieces that last a lifetime; yet the results seem to pop and flash and surprise. We are inspired by this contrast between process and result. Synthetic paint, ink and dye on natural fibers anchors themes of curiosity, play, nostalgia, tragedy, humor and darkness and creates plush tension amidst the images and text that are prevalent in our work.