Guided by Gazelles
Dexter Flawk’s latest collection came to him in a myth-like dream with a gazelle at the forefront of his psyche. This is no coincidence for Dexter, since he feels a divine connection to this graceful spirit guide. It is an animal that he goes to often for inspiration, spending nights pondering its limitless beauty and elegance. Gazelle and the Hunter is a story told through intention and fabric about a gazelle that moves a hunter to fall in love with her. When Dexter’s unconscious mind sewed the details of this narrative together, his Native American heritage becomes a strong thread that helps him return to his love for performance wear as a career path that's come full circle. Dexter unfolds his work further in this interview about the the hunter who loves the sentient being that he first set out to kill.
What meaning does the gazelle character take on in your art?
The gazelle represents a tribe of women who are half human, half gazelle, and forest brujas. Everything in their natural habitat wants to eat them, hunt them, and use them. In my world, I truly always feel against all the odds as an artist fighting to really get my point-of-view out to the masses. There is a hungry lion at every turn. While loving the gazelle, the hunter wants to hunt her and her people. The gazelle character is also always against all the odds.
How else do you relate to the gazelle in your own life?
The gazelle has always been my spirit animal. I have been told I look a bit deer-like from time to time! I take it as a compliment and tell people, I'm more of a gazelle. In pagan religions and systems, a spirit animal or totem is meant to be a representation of the traits and skills that you have. For me, it's just a feeling and connection almost seducing you to its power. My mom's stories of creole and Native American culture are such an inspiration so it only seems right that I take a few seasons to explore that and explore myself. My family tells me if an animal pops up over and over again in your daily life it could be your spiritual guide. I'm not sure if that is telling me to watch out for metaphorical lions or if I am supposed to use it as art inspiration to move my designs forward. Mostly, it’s the presence and elegance of the gazelle and it's natural, editorial makeup that draws my creative brain to them. They remind me of everything I look for in a really good runway model.
What other elements came into play in the creation of Gazelle and the Hunter?
I want to leave behind the world of wearable fashion and go back to my roots as a performance artist's designer. This is my first time using a lot of color but I think it's important to push myself to try new things. This collection came to me in a dream inspired by The Dark Crystal, Fern Gully, and my love for all things dark. I have also been studying and researching tribes from Iceland to Costa Rica. The tribes and atmosphere of Africa, and other world tribes are driving my creative brain to speak, now I just have to see if people hear Gazelle and the Hunter. Most of my work can be found at Dextersimmons.com but if you are interested in booking me for a custom piece, or as a stylist/creative director email me at email@example.com. I have a rack at home that I get to enjoy to myself right now.