Sunday, 22 January 2012

Styling my work

Today I have taken a well earned day of rest from the sewing machine. I have not, however, rested my mind from the thoughts of my pending catwalk show at Alternative Fashion Week and 2012 Collection.

This year I am really focused on pattern cutting and experimenting with a variety of shapes of corset and learning new construction techniques but my recent TG costume has made me very aware of the influence of styling upon an outfit, which I have to say I usually find myself shying away from. But I have really enjoyed the process of making the complete TG outfit in a way that has not interested me before. From finding suitable shoes and accessories (some of which have not yet arrived) to how the hair should look (which I couldn't do with my untameable locks) and what makeup, jewellery etc.

But, my point is, that it was great fun. Usually it is my clients who do this bit, I just make the dress /corset/costume and I have no say in anything else. I generally have no idea what other elements make up the final look until I see photo's or the event with my own eyes.

Leading on from that today I have been thinking about styling the catwalk show. I want it to be a journey, from innocence to decay - I have been reading exerts from 'Fleurs Du Mal' to give me some inspiration. I have picked The Matyr to share with you as there is some stunning visual imaginings from the text. I shall include a translation at the end of this blog, but follow the link above to see the original page it is from and the original poem in it's mother tongue (French).

A Martyr

Drawing by an unknown master

In the midst of perfume flasks, of sequined fabrics
And voluptuous furniture,
Of marble statues, pictures, and perfumed dresses
That trail in sumptuous folds,

In a warm room where, as in a hothouse,
The air is dangerous, fatal,
Where bouquets dying in their glass coffins
Exhale their final breath,

A headless cadaver pours out, like a river,
On the saturated pillow
Red, living blood, that the linen drinks up
As greedily as a meadow.

Like the pale visions engendered by shadows
And which hold our eyes riveted,
The head, its mane of hair piled up in a dark mass
And wearing precious jewels,

On the bedside table, like a ranunculus,
Reposes; and, empty of thoughts,
A stare, blank and pallid as the dawn,
Escapes from the upturned eyeballs.

On the bed, the nude torso shamelessly displays
With the most complete abandon
The secret splendor and fatal beauty
That nature had bestowed on her;

A rose stocking embroidered with gold clocks remains
On her leg like a souvenir;
The garter, like a hidden flashing eye,
Darts its glance of diamond brilliance.

The bizarre aspect of that solitude
And of a large, languid portrait
With eyes as provocative as the pose,
Reveals an unwholesome love,

Guilty joys and exotic revelries,
With infernal kisses
That delighted the swarm of bad angels
Hovering in the curtains' folds;

And yet one sees from the graceful slimness
Of the angular shoulders.
The haunches slightly sharp, and the waist sinuous
As a snake poised to strike,

That she's still quite young! — Had her exasperated soul
And her senses gnawed by ennui
Thrown open their gates to the thirsty pack
Of lost and wandering desires?

The vengeful man whom you could not with all your love
Satisfy when you were alive,
Did he use your inert, complacent flesh to fill
The immensity of his lust?

Reply, impure cadaver! and by your stiffened tresses
Raising you with a fevered arm,
Tell me, ghastly head, did he glue on your cold teeth
The kisses of the last farewell?

— Far from the sneering world, far from the impure crowd,
Far from curious magistrates,
Sleep in peace, sleep in peace, bizarre creature,
In your mysterious tomb;

Your mate roams o'er the world, and your immortal form
Watches over him when he sleeps;
Even as you, he will doubtless be faithful
And constant until death.

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)
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