The cover of this year’s Spring Style Issue is by Malika Favre, her seventh for the magazine. Favre is a master of form; her images employ a warm, vibrant palette and evince an expert grasp of line and shape. We recently talked to the artist about how fashion figures into her life, and about the ways in which this image differs (and aligns) with her body of work.
You’re known for a minimalist style that uses spare colors and geometric shapes—but this is an effusion of color and floral shapes. How does this image fit in with the rest of your work?
The inspiration was Frida Kahlo’s iconic look. I wanted to retain the energy and vibrancy of her paintings and the strength of the woman herself, hence the looser strokes and the explosion of color. This cover may be flamboyant, and it does use organic shapes, but it’s still in tune with my aesthetic approach. My work has a lot to do with colors and shapes, and this piece is another way to experiment with combining those things.
One of Favre’s early sketches for the cover, and her snapshot of a market in Mexico City.
Your images and your aesthetic were just used as guidelines to create a wardrobe. Are your own clothes filled with bold patterns in primary colors?
This is the first time I’m seeing this! It kind of makes sense, though, as my work is very structured, so it can be dissected. My wardrobe is filled with bold patterns and statement dresses. I have a very hard time buying neutral basics—I need to be moved by clothes to buy them. I am drawn to bright blues and reds, and one can find those in a lot of my work. (I sometimes get confused as to whether my life influences my work or the other way around.)
What’s your interest in the fashion industry? Have you designed clothes, or would you like to?
I love haute couture and statement pieces, and I follow brands like Delpozo and Parden’s or designers like Iris van Herpen. Fashion can bleed into art, and that’s when it starts being interesting for me. Designing clothes was a childhood dream, but after working with a lot of fashion brands that dream wore off. I prefer wearing the clothes and keeping the magic intact.
You’ve said you loved physics and mathematics and wanted to become an engineer before turning to art. How does your love of math influence your art?
My love of maths definitely had a big influence on my art. A lot of my pieces are created using geometric grids, perspective lines, or isometric shapes. I am not solving equations when I draw, but I think it shaped my brain in an interesting way and allowed me to construct images differently.
See below for some covers that celebrate fashion:
“March 30, 1968,” by Charles Saxon
“Metamorphosis,” by Ana Juan
“Spring Awakening,” by Tomer Hanuka