Gary discovered this wall hanging, originally made in India in the 17 th century for the Portuguese market, while visiting the Interwoven Globe: The Textile Trade 1500- 1800 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art back in 2013. He was first attracted to its appearance. “The embroidery almost looked like inlaid wood and the ageing was really beautiful,” he recalls. It wasn’t until he began researching its iconography that he found additional layers of meaning embedded in the textile. One of the central figures depicted is Eris, known to the Romans as Discordia, the goddess of strife. She was the unwanted, vengeful party guest who produced the apple of discord and eventually was the instigator of the Trojan War. Her bellicose attributes combined with those of the Seeker and Scribe, two of the archetypes, form the basis of the Fall 2016 collection. With that in mind, Gary made the hanging the inspiration for two original textiles that became known as the Discordia jacquards.
The silk version of these jacquards was used to make the Scribe Coat, the construction of which was inspired by the structure of the arch on which Discordia is depicted. Gina Gregorio, the designer of the jacquard, says, “As soon as I placed the rough cut out of the print into the coat sketch, the building reinforced the shape of the back. After I started editing, it was all about this feeling of an armature strengthening the spine like armor.” This imagery was reinforced by Gary’s suggestion to remove the human figures that appeared in the original hanging, leaving only the animals, a modification that added to the metaphor of coat as edifice, complete with arches on the sleeves that look like opening doors when the wearer moves her arm. “It feels like the wearer is the occupant and the animals are protecting the fort,” Gina says.