TWO: A Collaboration Between Artists Mariah Gillespie and Hannah Carr
TWO is a collaboration between Kansas City based artists Hannah Carr and Mariah Gillespie. They began working together shortly after graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute’s Fiber program and have since debuted their first collection at local fashion shows and for purchase online. The duo loves finding new ways to approach surface design and traditional fiber techniques in their work, and it shows through in their youthful play with patterning, embroidery, and basket weaving.
Both artists became collaborators shortly after graduating KCAI, when they were awarded studios through the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project Studio Residency program in downtown Kansas City. They have since shown their work at the West 18th Street Fashion Show and received press from local magazines and new stations alike.
Inspiration for their latest collection comes from childhood idols: Harriet the Spy meets 90s Bjӧrk meets Pippi Longstocking. The whimsy in their approach is evident in the hand painted scribble patterning, reminiscent of childhood experimentation, and the loose fit that invites movement and play. Even the way in which the pieces are documented, with fruit and vegetables as props and the dynamic poses of the models, blurs the lines between experimentation, wearability, and high fashion. With childhood whimsy and playfulness at the forefront of the work, the only thing serious about these garments is the impeccable craft that goes into producing them.
Combining their individual backgrounds of experimenting with wearable sculpture, ceramics, and quilting, artists Carr and Gillespie have found a common love of vibrant color combinations and a great diversity of texture in this collection. It is evident their inspirational draw from team sports in their jersey-esque dresses as well as vast landscapes implied in their blue sky tops. Their intricately crocheted and woven accessories create a dynamic juxtaposition against their casual wardrobe and the hand painted patterning is a constant reminder that every piece is handmade and one of a kind.
The emphasis on the importance of collaboration is ever present in the work through the reoccurring “2″ that shows up embroidered in their clothes and in neon plastic in their jewelry. Hannah Carr: “TWO embodies the inspiring and empowering relationships that happen between two super cool best friends.”
If you would like to check out more of TWO’s collection you can visit and shop online at their website, or check them out on Instagram @t___w___o.
All images provided by Hannah Carr and Mariah Gillespie.