My passion for mythology and its representation in art is present in my current university project “Spring”, in which I am looking at Sandro Botticielli’s depiction of the Three Graces and Flora, in his painting “La Primavera”. I am drawn to Aglaia´s, Thalia´s, Euphrosyne´s and Flora´s seemingly weightless silhouettes, dressed in flowing gowns and surrounded by flowers. I am using flowers to represent spring. I find their ethereal quality beautiful and am attempting to capture their beauty by hammering them onto silk. This leaves an echo of their shape and colour that, like the season, will fade over time.
In order to underline the theme of motion evident in this project, I am limiting myself to soft floating fabrics, bringing a sense motion to my designs.The second reoccurring theme in my body of work, is control. Previously, this has been present in the form of techniques such as corseting and tailoring, body hugging elements, themes of restraint or empowerment and finishes to a high standard and craftsmanship.
My current project is presenting this theme through my choice of garment: the corset. This choice is further inspired by the painting “Le Chevalier aux Fleurs” by George-Antoine Rochegross. It depicts a knight standing in the middle of a field encircled by women and flowers. His surroundings reflected on his shining armour, reminded me of Flora´s dress. I combined the two in the form of a collage and created my own allegory of spring. In order to study medieval armour, I visited the Wallace Collection. The shapes of the breast plates and faulds influenced my choice of garment, the corset, and the silhouette of the exaggerated hips and shoulders.
Another passion of mine is craftsmanship. At the age of twelve, I developed an interest in the human anatomy and life drawing. I would look for the structure underlying the human body, highlight the joints with circles and connect them with lines. This simplification helped me reconstruct realistic postures and proportions in my own drawings. In my project, I used this technique to analyse the Graces’ dancing silhouettes. When one looks at the structure behind the figures’ poses, one realises that their body weights are tilted too far forward and away from their feet. If the three women stood in this composition in a world that abides by the rules of gravity, they would fall forward.
I have translated this concept through multiple ways. On the one hand, I am using corsets with exaggerated hips tilted to the front and shoulders tilted to the back. This creates the illusion of movement and visually distorts the wearer’s pose.
On the other hand, I am using the theme of the “impossible”, is by creating a structured garment out of delicate fabric only. A combination of five layers of hand quilted silk, achieves the structure necessary to create the silhouettes. The final technique that carries the theme of structure into the design process, is the use of the outline of the left Grace, as a design element on the front of the silhouette. This organic line taken from a moving body, now flows diagonally down the front of a static one. This creates the illusion of the side line leaning over the body.
The lines flowing around the corset are transferred on to the dress. The pattern itself appears to be in motion.
A big “Thank you!” to everyone involved!
- Photography: Photographed By Sophia
- Make-up: Ella Froud
- Model: Maria Gemra
- Jewelry: Verena Jewelry