lundi 31 décembre 2012

(FAKE) Diamonds are a girl's best friend

Happy New year, I don't know what you are doing tonight, hope everyone is going to wear his met shiny/sparkly/glittery outfit for the New Eve! 

By Constace Doyle 

As a child I was really fascinated by fake big acrylic stones, with my brother and my sister we went to the Louvres museum and had fake ring to each finger and tried to make the comparison  with Royal jewel collection in the exhibition. 

sew-on acrylic stones 
I like when the dress become a jewel itself, there is a transfer,  it's not accessorised anymore,  but jewels become part and parcel of the dress. 

With this maximalist trend initiated by Lanvin Prada and Dolce Gabanna, we can see a way to  fight against the moroseness of economic  crisis 
Castelbajac choose/Christian Lacroix jumper/ Dolce Gabanna accessories

What I like in theatre and costume design is that you can pretend that you make a really wealthy outfit, you resort to a lot of acrylic gems or imitation jewellers. On stage, it's the other way round, fake jewels have a better effect than real ones, because they are bigger and more shiny, scale of values is turned upside down. 

tim walker

The French wider Victor Hugo said: "
"Le théâtre n'est pas le pays du réel : il y a des arbres en carton, des palais de toile, un ciel de haillons, des diamants de verre, de l'or de clinquant, du fard sur la pêche, du rouge sur la joue, un soleil qui sort de dessous la terre. C'est le pays du vrai : il y a des coeurs humains dans les coulisses, des coeurs humains dans la salle, des coeurs humains sur la scène"
 Theatre is a face world, trees are in cardboard, palaces are in canvas, diamonds are in glass, gold is made with  of razzle-dazzle(…) But it's the country of the "true", there is human hearts in the audience, on the stage and in backstage." 


I made this dress for Ioanna concert  for a Tribute to the poet Loizos Manosin Limasol in Cyprius, we  got inspired by Tim walker exhibition and Dolce Gabanna Baroque winter 2013 collection.

Basically, I took a black lace top shop dress and stitched some acrylic stones on it. At the beginning I wanted to use the glue gun (my best weapon!) but because it stretch it would have fall apart so I had to stitch them one by one. 

Ioanna :"They are going to make fun of me, you know Sophie, Cyprius is not London, I look like a disco ball, it's a bit to shiny.
Me: "it's good that people talk about you anyway". 

Then I got really exited about gems and acrylic stone (when you start you can't stop) so I decided to make some shoes for me, inspired by Castelbajac "Pirate's treasure". So I glue acrylic stones on black velvet shoes. 
Before/after (black is boring!)

People always ask me: "how can you cycle with those shoes?" and my answer is: It's always more easy to cycle then to walk with it"

Then, Ioanna dress gave some inspiration for my christmas dress. In order to save time, I glue the gems separately on a black lace fabric then stitch the fabric  it to the dress. added some feathers to make it more theatrical. I like the mixt of gems and feathers. 
I love feathers it's really aerial and  photogenic, it give you a good look because it's fly everywhere around your face and accompany all movements of your body. 

By Constance Doyle

The disadvantage with feather dresses is you are loosing your feather everywhere, my roommate know when i'm going to a party because there is feathers everywhere in the base room (is always better than living hair in the shower!) "Hey chicken, you are losing your feathers!" 

With Constance Doyle, we already took some pictures place de la Concorde (in the fountain!) But is was funny to come back in winter this time with a totally different atmosphere, really chrismassy with merry go round and  carousel, and giant red christmas tree and light. 

By Constance Doyle

By Constance Doyle 

I already experimented with feather, taking feather boas and stitch them on a black dress for those picture on the  Pont Alexandre III,  and Place de la concorde, using of also sparkly dress. 

The red feathers are the same used for the skirt of the other dress 

By Constance Doyle 

Bonne année 2013!

samedi 29 décembre 2012

Space invaders are back

In my show the audience see through the eyes of the main character who is confused between fiction and reality. Effie has a bad relationship with her mother so in her mind, she pictures her has a space monster. It was the occasion for me to make a really massive and spectacular costume. (I'm not going to talk about the one i was wearing because for once, it was the must boring one, I was a psychologist and a nurse).

The space monster documentary: 

 At the beginning,I just wanted to use it  for a really surrealistic space scene when Effie during a flashback is 7 and imagine her tricycle is a spaceship.  But the costume was so great that we keep it for other parts of the play.

Because it was hard to find the right tone between Effie and her mother with a really naturalistic aesthetic I introduce the space monster costume in a every-day life scene and it made the scene really more powerful underlying the conflict between the mother and her daughter. For example wearing the monster head obliged Daniele to shout because the voice was muffed, so the conflict became more obvious and the scene less psychological. 

" I must rush to the planet Vulgus, where the fate of humanity is at stake. There will be no pity for monstrous monsters, I shall pulverise all the vulgar Vulgusiens with my super-power laser gun."

It was one of the comical elements of the show (the whole topic of the play was quite sad),  Everybody tried it and took pictures with it. 
 I get inspired by futuristic science fiction 80s aesthetic, comics and Japanese's cartoon which take place in space like Goldorak, Albator or Captain Future. 

I also get inspired by Lady gaga's spectacular cosmic inter-galactic psychedelic outfits. 

I had a unconscious reference which explain the "reptile look" of the space monster. (Someone in the audience thaught it was a crocodile), a dragon costume that my Mum made for my brother for Carnival when he was 7. My Brother was like "I WANT to go to carnival as a dragon" so my Mum  for who everything is possible just made one.  i didn't think about that directly, but my Mum saw the show and show me some pictures and I realised the space monster looked like the dragon costume. It's funny to see how  sometimes you get inspired by things you even don't realise it! 

a dragon costume that I tried in India in a costume shop
This costume has more to do with fine artist's skills than costume designer's one. It's kind of massive costume you find in theme park like Dinseyland, mascot for sport if event,  or worn in Covent garden by people dress as Queen Elizabeth. The kind of costume which is really hot, you sweat in it, really hard to walk with and you can't barely see what it in front of you. anyway it needs a structure, so I asked Cristina, the fine artist of our team to help me. We discuss different material to make the structure like foam but it was a bit expensive so we choose wire. While Cristina was making the structure, someone stepped on it on the tube so the mouth was a bit crooked but it gives to it this stupid haggard look that we really loved. 

Then we covered the wire with paper maché. Sometimes I think: for my degree as was writing essay about the Russian formalism in French structuralism literature  in  and for my MA i'm specialised in paper mache". But i quite enjoy it, everything is about making, it's more practical. it's not just about theory, you have to experiment and put your hand in the glue if you want a result! For that, we stole newspaper at the entrance of the school. You know that you are in an art school when students take newspaper on the display  not to read them…but for making paper maché. 

Then we sray the head in green and Cristina, added some extra colour to create volume, relief and texture as well as several eyes in polystyrene and fake white fur from the santa claus outfit for the hair. 

For the jacket, I found a leather one in a flee market and I decided to cover it with bits of different type of green an shiny fabric. Yueer and Simon helped me to stick them  with the glue gun directly on the jacket  because the leather was too thick for the sewing machine. 

After the show, we made an experiment with my friend Sophie. There was a really big conference in Central Saint Martins, with important people from the Design world, people who came from business. I ask Sophie to walk among those people wearing the space monster head, and do some simple actions like going into the elevator, asking for food.
It was really funny, to see reactions of people, who stop talking, turn to watch her moves, even if some people doesn't seem to notice. From the top floor where I was shooting, it was  really funny ti see this green spot among  all black outfits! People thought it was a kind of happening for social acknowledgement, or a political cause, but it was free and aimless. In a way we perpetuate  the tradition of the crazy reputation of saint martins as an Art school. A way to introduce a surrealistic element in a formal and stiff-necked meeting. 

lundi 24 décembre 2012

Merry Christmas

I'm not a big fan about all the fuss around Christmas but I really like christmas decorations. I like the fact that everybody puts an effort to make something special to mark the occasion. 
When I was a child, I was fascinated by Christmas showcases at the "Galerie Lafayette" and big store on Hausman Boulevard, full of magic and enchantment. Streets seem to be rapped in a gigantic curtain of glistening light, and everything adorn itself with velvet red, forest green, gold and glitter. Sometimes it's really too shiny and showcases of shop look like Indian tuk tuk but I love that debauchery of fairy lights! 

Some people seems to take it as the competition  of the most decorated (and kitsch) house. From my window in London I can see the house of my neighbours, their is so many flashing lights that it's like you are at Aphex Twin electro concert, (I don't want to know about their electricity bill), actually it could be quite dangerous for epileptic persons. And as a special extra they have a fake santa climbing on a illuminated ladder.  

For this christmas dress, I resort to the same technic than with the balls dress but this time, I used golden ones, and I stitched some gold tinsels on the skirt.

 A child  asked me "is it real christmas decoration"? (why are they always make stupid questions…) 
I made this dress for a christmas/birthday, I went to Tesco to by a bottle on the way (quite hard to cycle with this one, a piece of tinsel get caught in my wheel),  the security guy took some picture with me, and he wanted me to stay  to promote  the christmas shelf… but i had to go to my party. 
When you dress up, you put a touch of whim in people everyday life, breaking their monotonous routine, you bring to people something unusual that they didn't expect. 

My christmas balls earrings

Then I found the fairy tale little red ridding hood from Charles Perrault quite christmassy with the red cap and the forest setting. 
The aesthetic inspired fashion like the Chanel N°5 christmas TV spot or Valentino well-know for its red carpet dress. 

 With my friend Constance Doyle, we did a first version in 2010 in a snowy park near Paris 

The 2012 little red ridding hood version is more British , the picture are taken in  Covent garden with my friend Wei Da, the most christmassy place in London for me! 
I like the way the red cap match with the red phone box!

My N2 brooch and necklace (the only brand of jewel i'm wearing apart from the one I make)

During our walk the little girl get detatched from the brooch and with Wei Da we spent 15 min looking for it in the street, FOUND IT 

I like the back of this cloak

I like the way this dress look like a massive Christmas present (it's actually really heavy!) . This ribbon adorns a giant christmas tree in Covent Garden Market and I like the way it looks like an extension of the dress as if the costume was part and parcel of the installation! (I should stop starting my sentence by "I like" as a kidder garden child) 
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