lundi 26 août 2013


I made this costume for the Lady in Pink video clip. And Ioanna worn it in her show final degree show  "Red Lonely Female" in the Platform theatre. It'  always great to see a costume you made  come alive on stage. It is completely  transformed by the lights or the set which complete the costume. 

It's quite different to work with musician than with performers, You deal with different constraints like  "Sorry Sophie, I can't play the guitar with this massive barbie necklace) "… and you don't create a character like in theatre but you have to magnify a kind of persona which matches with the musical identity of the artist. 

At the beginning this jacket was designed to represents a schizophrenic dualistic personality. So i devised it up in to sides with too different colours and two difference textures (velvet and pleats). 

In the show the dancer doesn't wear the dress but worship it,  take care of it, dance with it, and finally destroy it. It is made with orange gloves to symbolise manipulation and social oppression.  I like the idea of having the dress as a prop or a kind of installation part of the set. 

In June, Ioanna had a gig for the International Retail Conference in the Platform Theatre, where representatives from big company  met to discuss how shops could be organise in a more performative way.

So with Ioanna, we thought it could be interesting to stage Lego and present it in a performative context. She wanted to create a jazzy 30's atmosphere, so the challenge was to mix the vintage aesthetic of the style with the futuristic one of the lego's shape.

Using gold sprayed and black lego change the feeling of the original playful and coloured brick. Legos  as small gold bar on a bow looks more precious and elegant.  

I like this minimalist necklace -just one golden brick on a golden wire. 

I had this long  golden polka-dot skirt in my closet (the type of skirt you will never wear but you buy it in a flea market because you never know…for a performance)  and I glued the golden brick on the golden spot to create a kind of in relief pattern on the fabric 

On the afternoon, Ioanna changed for the lady in pink costume and I added the "Sophie's touch" on the musician's bow:  the barbie arm -so chic! 

In my view the costume designer is not the technician dressed in black in backstage but has to match its creations, I made this golden lego headband but Ioanna choose a different headpiece which fitted more her hair style so I decided to keep it for me! 

I also like the coloured version before the gold spray operation… 

samedi 3 août 2013


Picture by Ella Guru
 I already introduced the amazing artist and cookery Guru Sue Kreitzman. 
I first meet her at the exhibition "Dare to Wear" and last time I saw her she told me: "the day when I saw you entering the crypt with your barbie dress i knew you where part of my people".

Paradoxically enough if Sue Kreitzman  is one of the oldest people i know in London (i'm 72 but i'm going to be 73 she says with coquetry)  she is far more ground breaking in her way to produce , curate and experiment art than young designers from Saint Martins. 
Far from an elitist vision of art where snobbish people drinks champagne in an aseptisized gallery around an abstruse and minimalistic piece of art, Sue organises amazing opening nights with live performance, and where everybody is dressed crazily as a celebration of life as art or art as life. multicultural and trans-generational 
She fight for a democratic vision of art through a multicultural and trans-generational approach of her practice,  encouraging "outsider" and untutored artists. 
"I would like to exhibit you in my next show but this one  is just for "outsider artist" and you have an MA from Saint martins. 
Me:  "But, I can fake it!" 
In life  you always have to pretend  to have degrees and qualifications, but with Sue the more autodidact you are, the better! 

"I am art, i make art, i collect art, my friends are artists,  is it my life, so when i go outside i don't want to leave it behind so  all my clothes are art, I have to wrap myself in art and when i walk in the street i'm a a walking collage". 

Picture by Ella Guru

On a sunny morning, Sue invited me at her house for coffee (and amazing sandwiches prepared by Hannah)  because her friend and great painter Ella Guru wanted to take some pictures of us in order to make a new painting for Sue. I literally love going to Sue's house, it is a mix between Ali Baba's cavern and a Disney land for adult.  Because she always move things around an change place of objects, it's always a new discovery. At the beginning you are always overwhelmed by the abundance of the art, and then you catch little witty details that make you smile. 

Picture by Ella Guru

The first thing I do when I wake up, i change places of objects, I look at them, I think about them and I talk to them. There is thousands of pieces of art in her house but Sue know everything about them, from where is it from who made it, when and she has a funny story for every single piece.  "This one is the time keeper statue but we wind it up". 
Sue welcome me, gorgeously dressed as always, in a silk kimono made by her friend Lauren Shanley… "Sorry ladies, i'm not ready yet,  I need to change my everyday necklace for a special occasion one". So she change her lovely mermaid necklace to put on a gorgeous and massive piece with a red heart in the middle that she just picks from a mannequin somewhere in her living room! "Life is art and art is life there is no boundaries between the two!"

Picture by Ella Guru

"Art and colour are my life. My apartment is painted in vivid (you might say vulgar) colours, and festooned with fascinating objects. Well, so am I. My good friend, London fabric artist Lauren Shanley, makes my clothes. I am something of an obsessive collector, and – among other things – gather ethnic and vintage fabrics from all over the world. Lauren collages these fragments into miraculous garments. Often, they tell a story,. Anothai Hansen, in Brooklyn, and Amanda Caines, in London, make my jewellery; again, they are made from found objects I have gathered, and again, each piece usually tells a story. "

The necklace I made for Sue, she put in in a very strategic place in her house, I like the way she put it on the legs of a mannequin (and not around the neck) diverting the original function of the necklace, making  it as a rococo bikini celebration of femininity.   

 Sue  generously host us at her home,  whereas she had just her house completely burnt in Cambridge. But she wasn't complaining at all. On the contrary, she feels really lucky that her and her husband are still alive. She took some pictures of the burnt house  that reveal the beauty through destruction. Sue showed us a metal box  that survived from the fire, containing all her correspondence  with her husband when they where still boyfriend and girlfriend, "it's funny to see the things who survive and the one who don't" some stuff when spared you won't expected to be".  Suddenly she is blushing like a teenager; she starts reading emotionally  half burnt letter  i was writing poetry to him,  it sounds so ridiculous to me right now!" 

Shard of face ring in Sue's house.  Hannah told me: it's like the barbie had an accident and you recomposed the  destructed face like a broken chinese vase. I like when people make their own story about my jewels.  

Sue told me: You merge perfectly in the scenery, I think if you just stand in my house, and don't move, people will think you are a piece of art of my collection!" 

Don’t wear beige – it could kill you!’ 

Did you cycle in this outfit?
"-Yes let me show you!"

cycle with barbie heels

I went to the exhibition Remains of Myth' by Charles Garner in Bricklane. I feel that street style is outdated, the new thing in 2013 will be "gallery style", to be dress according to the theme of the exhibition to match and complete the piece of art exhibited in the gallery. 

"An attempt to deconstruct gender archetypes in costume.
Found costumes are fixed to plywood in imitation of archival illustrations including worker's aprons, children's fancy-dress, ballet costumes and bunny-girl outfits.
"I burn frocks; that's what I do." Charlie Pi 

For "Remains of myth, I already experiment with costume and fire for my show last december when i created the costume of the woman with the wooden limbs. For this special occasion, I created this ignited dress, inspired by Jeanne d'Arc woodshed with all the dolls face, confined behind the black fabric. 

As a costume designer it was fascinating to see how Charlie destroys some gorgeous costumes to divert their function and make them a piece of art. I like to make art wearable but Charlie  turns the the wearable into art. 

Sue invited me to her talk at the Royal Academy of Arts where  she had a talk for the Summer Exhibition. When you enter the exhibition, you can overwhelmed by the thousands of piece of art  without name , a mishmash of style put together. But fortunately Sue was leading a tour focusing on five works that have piqued her interest. She picked pieces that wouldn't have catch my eyes, who have a personal resonance for her, inviting the audience to consider them differently. 
Sue is the best guide ever,  because she is so passionate about everything she talk about, it was an original and unusual way to visit the Summer Exhibition

 I customised this necklace for a friend. She bought this gorgeous sliver piece in India. "it's a bit boring, i never wear it (how can a necklace like this can be boring?!!) Maybe if you bring your personal touch to it, i will maybe like it more. So i just added the barbie legs to it. 

Wearing my "Voldemort turban, having 3 babies heads with bindies from India on it. 
WOW! Wild old women 

This exhibition shows the work of 12 artists from the margins. From intuitive artists to self-taught visionaries, ‘Bold Vision’ provides a unique insight into the black and white world of these artists." The gallery exposed  artists who face barriers to the art world for reasons including health, disability and social circumstance. The artists in the exhibition create for numerous different reasons, one of the most common being as a release or a way of finding balance. 

I hardly never wear black; always colours. Once i had a meeting with my tutor couldn't find me because i was wearing a black trench " I was looking for pink in the crowd". But to match with the painting i decided to experiment this combination of colours. 

the black and white lego bracelets in front of the black and white piece of art 

My friend Mette, the only girl i know who can also cycle in heels with style 

 I went to the opening night of TEN where Sue was exhibiting an over-the-top kitsch installation with a myriad of components. Her exhibition always full of life. With her genius in curating, she can turn an hospital into a cabaret place where kids running among the de piece of art watched out of a corner of an eye by his mum with her arms covered with tattoo, and a old man in a wheel chair are enjoying  the synch lips show of a drag queen in a glitter dress. 

"10 offers new artwork by artists linked to the project. Using a wide range of media, the exhibition reveals how artists respond to the idea of progress and in doing so how art and artists develop over time."

picture by  Simona Zemaityte 
picture by  Simona Zemaityte 

Walking on my heads 

I lend some of my jewels to my friend Catherine Goodwin for her interactive performance at the Circus Terminal in Amsterdam. I'm so jealous, I feel my jewels are travelling more than I do! 

picture by Michael Levkoff

She had the  creepy engagement ring, the love couple necklace, the hand-pearl necklace and the dolls flower crown.  And I put some white shoes on the barbies legs earrings. She performed the psycho-bride. I feel i should have a wedding jewels line! 
Performing with Brothers Grimm

"Your jewels change my way to perform". I'm really interesting about introducing my jewels into performance. Because on stage everything becomes a sign, the performance is creating a all narrative around them. 

The second day, Catherine makes this costume with plastic bag and matches it with the Voldemort turban and the platform barbies shoes earrings. 

picture by Michael Levkoff

picture by Michael Levkoff
"Circus Terminal will endeavour to turn the world’s individual components into one delicious cake that will celebrate the differences and similarities of all human beings and who they are through their art. 

This is a radical ongoing project that brings together artists with highly varied backgrounds, irrespective of whether they have been to art school or not. Scheduled to depart from boundaries from all across the globe, the show will be gathering evidence of life journeys. Coming to your town soon, we aim to build new relations and spread the idea of artistic self-reliance. Local artists at each of our ‘Stops’ will be taking part."

Insiders...Outsiders...local artists, folks intermingling with visiting international participating artists. Interactive Performance, Collaborative Live Art(ongoing...visitors/artists are welcome to grow the artwork we have started with their mark making), Live Music, Jam....The Exhibition is continuing until Saturday 17 August 2013!!

picture by Michael Levkoff

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