DRESSING THE ART

The expression 'wearable art' has been thrown around and overused for so long that it's all but lost its original meaning. But at D.C.-based clothing label Dress Abstract, 'wearable art' is genuinely what you get. Founder Nima Veiseh has training in both science and art, a combination which uniquely impacts his world view and approach to creativity. It was while working as a PhD researcher in Design and Sustainable Economics that he learned about the fashion industry's negative impact on the environment. And as a painter, he saw the need for an outlet where artists were able to showcase their work and get paid a living wage. This convergence of influences led to the launch of Dress Abstract in 2014.

Nima, the son of immigrants, employs refugee artists to create Dress Abstract's collections. Garments and accessories are splashed with vibrant artwork of painters from across the United States, like "Between White and Black", a swirl of rainbow shades that exist between all and no color. "Constellation" views the solar system in simple, brightly-colored spheres against a black backdrop. "The Jungle" is a web of trees and sunshine reduced to its simplest, most abstract form. Products are made in limited runs to help reduce waste and the entire line is made in America, which curtails its carbon footprint even further. Each item -- from a single scarf to a pair of leggings and even an over-coat -- is signed by the artist, as if it was a canvas to be hung in a museum.

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