New brand Bruta is bridging the gap between art and fashion with a unique collection of embroidered shirts and hand-painted pots. For the label’s launch in Liberty’s menswear department, founder Arthur Yates swapped canvas for brickwork and created a mural to celebrate.
“Starting the brand was quite a natural thing for me, I initially had a business supplying high street stores, and I was using it to fund art shows I was putting on. I thought I could merge these two worlds into one, and Bruta was born. I’ve always worn shirts, I’ve got a big collection of vintage shirts and my girlfriend always borrowed them from me, so it made sense to make a unisex shirt brand. I see the shirts as something you decorate your body with, and I wanted to create something to decorate your home so I made the pots. I like the idea of doing something one-off too, so the pots are all hand-painted. I was drawn to the chaos of that, and I feel like that’s something missing from fashion.
The design process behind the shirts and the pots is very different, with the shirts you have to be more pragmatic and think about manufacturing, costs and what’s possible. I enjoy that side of it, the limitations of what’s achievable, so I always design with [those parameters] in mind. Designing the pots is a lot more freeing, I just approach it like a blank canvas and see where it takes me.
I enjoy fashion, and art, but I try not to take them too seriously. I embrace the frivolity of both of and I don’t try and label anything too much otherwise it ends up giving me a headache. That’s my design philosophy...for now! For now it’s about decorative things.
I think people who understand fashion should have an interest in how and where it’s made, and what techniques are used; there are a lot of new innovation and techniques I want to explore. I really like embroidery at the moment and there’s really interesting stuff happening there, lots of new machine embroidery and also digital weaving.”