• Abraxas Rex

    from New York City, NY

Abraxas Rex

About Abraxas Rex

There aren't many items of clothing that you can toss on over a bathing suit, belt over a pair of jeans, wear to the opera—or the office—and slip on at home over nothing at all and look equally appropriate (and, dare we say, stunning).

And therein lies the appeal of these spectacularly beautiful hand-painted silk, diamond-labeled Kimono Capes by Paris Kain, who designs under the label Abraxas Rex (in the Gnostic religion, Abraxas is the god of both light and darkness, and the Abraxas Rex collection symbolizes man's dual nature). An impossible to pigeonhole artist/photographer/filmmaker who’s inspired by mythology and the story of Atlantis, Kain is probably best known for his extraordinary line of fossil and crystal jewelry (fashion designers Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein, with whom Kain has collaborated, are fans).

These gorgeously hued capes, which you can literally throw on over anything from a negligee to an evening gown—there are no fastenings—are his latest project.  Each is one-of-a-kind, takes up to 10 days to complete and is finished with a diamond-studded silver Abraxas Rex label that nods to Kain's jewelry collection. AHAlife is showcasing four patterns (from top to bottom, at left): Cream/Midnight/Orange, Grass Green/Royal Blue, Orange/Forest Green, and Shades of Blue. And when they’re not being worn, these kimonos can be displayed as wall hangings—but then, the artist paints them on large rolls of silk, in the same way he paints on canvas, using richly-hued, very expensive dyes from Europe.

Kain, a New Yorker who often escapes to the West Coast, was inspired to make them after spending time at his girlfriend’s house in California. There, the combination of wide open space—which allowed him to paint on a larger scale than he could in his New York studio—and the presence of a pond full of brightly colored koi fish prompted him to expand from jewelry to clothing. “I sometimes have an idea of what I want to see come to life on the silk, but I would say 80 percent of the time it is improvised expression,” the designer says of his wearable art.

All we can say is, what took so long?

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