Steven Park & 6x4
The 6x4 label is provocative in its self-assured subversion of traditional gender representations as designer Steven Park undertakes to "shake some foundations to the core".
Steven grew up making things by hand, and, having always pictured himself becoming 'an artist', he studied Fine Arts at Elam. His desire to return to crafting and continue making things led him to explore design. 6x4 began life as an art project during his studies and is constantly expanding to embrace a variety of objects, including clothing, jewellery, shoes and furniture.
Viewing trends as an "oppressive system of social division", Steven’s designs are non-gendered and unique – each piece is a one-off. 6x4’s aesthetic combines edginess and casual elegance with a distinctly handmade vibe. Steven uses unusual, often repurposed, materials such as cheesecloth, vinyl and rust. The clothes challenge traditional forms in their design as well as their materials, for example, a dress with no determined front or back, and a garment that needs to be cut open before being worn. He likes to develop his creative ideas in isolation and while respecting and admiring other artists and designers, he finds that rather than having a mentor he has always gained more "from understanding what [others] are doing and how they differ from yourself".
Steven finds that for him, the focus on the labour and process of making is as important as the finished product.
Text by Arielle Walker. Banner image by Frances Carter © New Zealand Fashion Museum.
Last published October 2014.