Designer Rottingdean Bazaar

Rottingdean Bazaar

Rottingdean Bazaar

Rottingdean Bazaar is the work of artists James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks. The pair met in college at Central Saint Martins and their approach to fashion is as unconventional as the experimental garments, objects and images they create. “We sort of approach each project as it comes,” says Luke, “We’re really open to trying as many things as possible.” The duo embraces the surreal and conceptual, explaining that their design process often begins as a sort of working conversation. Says James, “We tend to think about the context or the framework that something is in and how to play with that.” Rottingdean Bazaar’s process is rooted in communicating a concept or story.

When James and Luke were introduced to Augmented Atelier’s concept of digital-first fashion, they were both intrigued.  “It’s a completely new medium for us,” says James, “we’ve never designed a piece that has been made on a computer.” While designing with Spatial Anchors was different from what they were used to, Rottingdean Bazaar’s signature DIY-sensibilities remained central to their Augmented Atelier designs. “Often in our work we repurpose existing objects,” says Luke. “With the looks we created here, we were thinking about digital objects we could repurpose and juxtapose with each other.”

Three images side by side: On the left, a bald white man walks a catwalk in a fashion show wearing only black Doc Marten boots and loose black drawstring shorts. His skin is covered in small household tools, like scissors, screws, nails, and tiny wrenches; they appear glued on. In the middle is a photo of a black t-shirt that has pink tie-died collared shirt affixed to the front. On the right, another runway shot: an older white man walks wearing long and loose black pants and a long-sleeved tee. A pitchfork is affixed to his front.

“We tend to think about the context of the framework that something is in and how to change that.”

- Rottingdean Bazaar

Collaboration was the other aspect of Augmented Atelier that the pair was most motivated by. As a creative duo, it’s their default way of working and a method that Rottingdean Bazaar constantly find themselves gravitating toward. “We find collaboration really exciting,” says Luke, “Because it opens up the possibilities of another world and then we get to offer our perspective and feed into it.” James adds, “we have quite a communal feeling about how we’re interested in making things.”

“We have quite a communal feeling about how we’re interested in making things.”

- James Theseus

Two men, both bearded, stand side by side. They are “wearing” large cardboard boxes that have holes cut in them for their arms and heads. 2 shelves protrude from the front of each box; the shelves display various women’s boots and stilettos, as well as two purses.

Rottingdean Bazaar found that their process translated quite nicely to 3D digital design. “It was interesting to think about what could be done in a 3D digital space that couldn’t be done outside of it,” says Luke. “We thought a lot about animation and the way something could move around the body or in space.” As with all of their work, Rottingdean Bazaar’s digital designs leaned into the conceptual. The looks they created challenge traditional notions of what garments can and cannot be made from, while tying in the digital platform.

”We thought about digital objects that we could repurpose and juxtapose with each other,” says James. Rottingdean Bazaar’s looks feature classic icons you might see on a desktop, like a folder, a trash bin, and the beloved Microsoft helper, Clippy. The objects “operate like an aura circulating the body,” says Luke. Rather than simply creating a digital garment that could be remade with material, “we saw the technology as a medium in itself,” says James, and their unlikely designs were inspired by this innovative new framework. “We were just thinking about what we could do with the tech in a small way. In that sense, I think the project has the potential to have a whole universe of work created within it.”

More information about Rottingdean Bazaar check out their Instagram.

Two images side by side: On the left, a digital female mannequin wearing a giant recycling basket as a skirt, a zipped file icon as a top, and an orange traffic cone as a hat. She is next to another mannequin which is naked, standing beneath an upturned recycling bin dumping refuse on her. On the right: a digital mannequin surrounded in a blue 3d grid, modeling where the recycling bin will go and how it will “fit” on her as a skirt.
A woman holds a tablet in front of a naked mannequin in her living room. On the tablet, we see the mannequin standing amidst digital refuse like newspaper, food scraps, a black plastic bag, random papers, a soda can, and a paper coffee cup.