Thursday, 30 April 2015

‎Amelie Fürst II

Amelie Fürst's eccentric Beekeeper;
"An old lady, sitting in the garden, playing chess - reminiscing the past and telling stories about the glory days of a forgotten hotel. Quirky anecdotes about extravagant guests, all with a hint of eccentricity and surrealism."
"My designs to have a sort of romantic sadness inspired by archives, collections and insect formations with a heavy focus on soft and organic breaking down, florals and pastels, layers of decay and embellishment juxtaposing better days and a harsher reality."
"The Beekeeper is more of an embodiment of the story’s atmosphere rather than an individual, participating character. Despite being set in the 1950s, the military aspects of her costume tie in the sinister Second World War component of the setting’s history.
Her jacket was hand-dyed, quilted with cad embroidery, then bleached and broken down." 
"The skirt consists of a metal frame along the top and twenty-one individually laser-cut panels creating a sculptural, honeycomb-like structure. Every layer was carefully dyed, embellished and broken down using bleach, different screen-printing binders, tea, flock and foil, and a variety of ‘aquasuedes’." Amelie Fürst

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Amelie Fürst I

 “Three Men in the Snow” These costumes of the hotel staff from 'Comedy of Errors' by Erich Kästner, 1934  are by Amelie Fürst for her final graduation collection.

I was inspired by the beautiful expressionist landscape paintings and strong, saturated colours of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, my designs emphasise the lightness, humour and satirical wit of Kästner’s writing visually enhanced by the floral prints I created from my own photography (see below).

"The almost over the top, pristine staff ensembles reflect the atmosphere of the renowned Grand Hotel Bruckbeuern in the Alps, and combine tailoring of the late 1930s, certain aspects of skiwear and floral embellishments."
"The staff shirts all incorporate individually chosen floral prints that were gradually re-tinted and worked into with different photoshop tools and filters before being digitally printed. The trousers show a variety of floral embellishments that were again inspired by the natural Alpine setting of the story. Rosy memories of a hazy past."  Amelie Fürst
                             (Above): Photograph by Lawrence Winram

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Tilly Jones II

"I have designed for an immersive theatrical portrayal of Angela Carters Nights at the Circus. Set in the during the 'Golden Age of the Circus’, Carter’s evocative characters provide an elaborate story. Introducing Fevver’s is the winged star and Maestro, exiled to Siberia upon the promise of a music school.
My interpretation conveys distressed costumes while drawing upon elements of magical realism. Embellished textiles recreate the hand crafted feel of circus costumes and enhance authenticity, as if they have been created backstage of a touring circus." Tilly Jones

Tilly had as her model the vivacious Georgia Nobel, a larger than life character to match a larger than life costume. With wings encrusted with Jay wings, feathers and jewels and a peacock feather fringed bodice.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Tilly Jones I

This is Tilly Jones's 'Princess Pirlipat' from The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann, from her graduate collection for performance costume at ECA. A coat made of a patchwork of faux fur in pinks and reds, embellished with applique lucky cat emblems with beautiful decorated and beaded, padded heart buttons.
"My concept incorporates influences from the 1950s, commercialization and Japan. The colour scheme is vivacious in order to convey opulence. Textiles utilise plastic, fur and embellishment aiming to present a comedic visual response." Tilly Jones 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Imogen Woolley I

"This is a costume I have designed for a Triplet from the French animation film, 'Belleville Rendezvous'. Set at the beginning in the 1930s focusing on three concert hall singers, the story then skips many years where the singers are now elderly, frog eating and quite bizarre versions of their past selves.
For this design I really wanted to capture the overly eccentric and exaggerated elements that are displayed in the city of Belleville. The story is odd but charming, and the characters have quite surreal elements that are displayed freely, but also have an underlying sense of innocence. I have taken inspiration from 1970s fashion, creating a lycra suit, and a laser cut fur trimmed jacket. I have also laser cut plastic accessories, to try and create a bit of a mad and over the top character who has all of everything going on at the time." Imogen Woolley

Again wonderful attention to detail by Imogen Woolley and an incredibly fun costume (as you can see by her model Pippi's face).

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Andrew Dhesi

'The Lost Boy' SS 2016 is the graduate collection of Andrew Dhesi who is about to graduate from ECA with a BA hons in Fashion.
Andrews collection involves many layers of intricate laser cut designs on sheer and opaque fabrics, like paper cuts. Andrew's collection including beautiful visors and head pieces in the shape of fish made from clear plastic that resembled ice. Andrew is to continue his studies with an MA in menswear at The Royal College of Art.
"My work is about searching for a sense of belonging. I've always found it hard to feel like I belonged anywhere so found myself interested in the escapism of the fantasies depicted in video games, books and anime. The main idea behind the collection was to try and to take inspiration from this escapism and create a world where I felt I belonged, while knowing it could never really exist. There are suggestions of death and afterlife being where I would feel like I would finally belong as maybe I could finally be part of this fantasy world that is in my head. It's a light take on death with a sense of hopefulness and naivety." Andrew Dhesi 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Izzy Gibbs I

Performance Costume student Izzy Gibbs's 'Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid' from Charles Kingsley's 'The Water Babies', the details from these costumes are fabulous, so much work and intricate detail, and when they are modeled they become walking, talking illustrations.
                        (above) Photograph by Emily Bates with make up and hair to full effect.
"In my interpretation of The Water Babies I decided to relocate the story to New York City in the 1960s. My research focused upon the excitement and experimentation of the decade, with the playful nature of designers such as Paco Rabanne and André Courréges massively inspiring my own work."
"I have incorporated my love for illustration into my costumes through my use of print, whilst creating accessories that emphasise and exaggerate character. My aim was to create a world that was far removed from Kingsley's English fairytale, embracing a slightly nightmarish quality with a twist of humour.
My reading of the character Mrs Bedonbyasyoudid, is an eccentric grandmother figure who has been under the water so long she has become a part of it. With algae growing up her fishnet stockings and fish swimming through her handbag, it is clear that she is in a world of her own. She carries a skeletal fish puppet made from bound wire, that is articulated so as to give realistic movement, it is also intended to cast shadows and add to the surreal nature of my performance."
Izzy Gibbs

Monday, 20 April 2015

Emily Bates I

Above: Photograph by Lawrence Winram below Emily Bates illustration

This week I am involved in the ECA fashion show. After blogging the work of fashion and costume students last year I was asked to model for costume student Emily Bates as a character from Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, 'Irma Prunesquallor'.

Irma is quite a minor character but I loved Peake's descriptions of her within the text. She is a vain social climber intent on finding a husband. I looked at the stereotype of the 1950's housewife as well as 50's millinery, the concertina bustle design stems from the fact that the characters are often described as insect like, crawling out of crevices when they do emerge from the castle walls. The boat on her headpiece also draws from Peake's imagery; she is described as 'veering from east to west in gradual curves like a ship that has no precise idea as to which port she is making for'. Emily Bates

This has been a great experience for me; seeing the evolution of Emily's ideas from sketch through, measuring, toile, alteration and the final incredible costume, as well as glimpsing the creations of the other fashion and costume students.
Over the next few weeks I will endeavour to share some of their outstanding creations with you.

Friday, 17 April 2015


Every year 100,000 tonnes of discarded clothes travel from western countries to be recycled in Panipat.
Unravel is a beautiful short film by Meghna Gupta is so revealing and humbling in so many ways.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Dress and Emotion

'Dress & Emotion is a research project funded by Parsons The New School for Design that seeks to explore the emotional and sensory act of dressing.  The images presented here aim to investigate themes of body image, identity/self-curation, representation and the messaging of dress:
How do we see ourselves? What comes first? The Body, the image we seek to create or does one create the other? Are we dressing a body Image that is real or imagined? Do we see dress as a uniform, persona, provocation or protection?' 
The first stage of this project funded by Parsons The New School for Design has identified 'Outliers', people whose personal dress has evolved into a distinctive unique symbolism. Each of these individuals curated six looks that reflected their identities.
The project is to make us think about the language of our 'costume' what are we communicating with our clothes and do we achieve this?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Monstrology II

More of the magical 'Monstrology' collection by Lesia Paramonova.
 "Don’t be afraid to fall down into the water, to sink slowly into the seabed. Perhaps, there you will see a light and find the entryway to a new world. Perhaps your skin will turn into the bark of a tree, and you will become invisible, one with the woodlands, so evil spirits pass you by unnoticed.
You run through the mossy field like a black-eyed roedeer. You run so rapidly that your legs are caught by the wind. It lifts you into the air, and all the sounds become a single hum. Six faithful keepers accompany you. They are the guardians of this forest, the guides of your soul.”
Lesia Paramonova