We had a special colours walk for Sue's birthday at her favourite place in London, Old Spitafields market, also celebrating day of the dead time. So I could sport my day of the dead outfit with skulls & flowers headpiece and calavera denim jacket (that has gone to Australia since!)
The embroidered calavera was originally a cushion. I liked the contrast between the casual of the denim material and the intricacy of folk art.
|By Richard Kaby|
As a gift, I made Sue a multicultural necklace with a main dio de las muertos theme. This traditional hand painted calavera was normally designed to be put on the wall but nothing is too big or too flamboyant for Sue Kreitzman who prefer to wear art than putting it on her wall. Then, I drilled holes and stitched it on an ethnic & pompoms base, an embellished decoration from Afghanistan normally worn my cows in religious ceremony. Sue didn't find the "cow" bit very flattering.
I may shock some people thinking this is the opinion of a white privileged woman, but I think nowadays, the concept of cultural appropriation is used in an abusive way.
It feel it is a concept invented by white privileged westerners (especially North American) overly politically correct with a guilty on science of their own History tackling any form of alternative creativity wanting to feel clever and superior.
|High fashion shoot for Vogue and other magazine inspired by Frida Kahlo and day of the dead aesthetic. Cultural appropriation or cultural celebration?|
Weirdly, on instagram I received attacks and criticism of "cultural appropriation" from white western uncreative people. When you visit their profile they seem pretty boring & beige and not trying to create anything new.
In the contrary, I received positive and enthusiastic comments from the people from the culture I got the inspiration from. They are not offended of feeling ripped off but shows appreciation & admiration. For example, a Mexican woman even bought one of my day of the day inspired headpiece.
If you push the logic to its paroxysm, everything become cultural appropriation. You shouldn't be able to buy a souvenir from Mexico and bring it home, or an african necklace on a local market in Ghana and wear it. Yet, buying cultural goods directly from theses minorities support the local economy and spread the culture & skills.
Obviously, I think cultural appropriation exists when it is done in a commercial way , like for example a big brand rip off some traditional design in a very unethical way and make a lot of money that doesn't benefit the tribe. Like when Urban outfitter stole a traditional Navajo pattern for a t shirt line.
Also obviously, when you take the inspiration from another culture, it has to be done in an elegant & subtle way and always with respect. Taking the piss like for example brown facing which is totally unacceptable.
|With Sue Kreitzman and Cherry Stevenson By Richard Kaby|
|By Richard Kaby|
Also, this autumn have been marked for me by the release of a TV5 video, in the programme #versionfrançaise about my work & projects. It was a special edition about French in London. This is what I am always filmed for, portrait of French people in London. I am usually the eccentric one among the chef and the luxury estate agent.
each headpiece as a persona and can influence your mood!
I think my style fascinated French people because it is really unusual and beyond what they can imagine according to their creative standards whereas it is quite average for London arty scene.
I get Press in France, but buisness in London!
A very well documented and well edited small documentary that tackles the complexity and diversity (I like to think so) of my work.
TV5 - version française portrait d'Anne-Sophie Cochevelou, créatrice de mode from Anne-Sophie Cochevelou
I have a real sympathy for TV5, as it is the international channel for French people lived abroad.
As a kids when I lived in the Emirates, it was like the Holy Grail, we had to go Alliance Française to watch it and it was a link to french culture.
I got very positive feedback and lovely messages from all the francophone community, from Algeria to Switzerland.
showing how my studio is organised, everything is in a box, the only way the fight my pathological messiness, Lego, dolls heads, feathers, beads, little cars, they all have their own drawer!
working on an alternative style wedding dress entirely embroidered with golden sequins
behind the scene, photoshoot of a kawaii look by Anthony Lycett
At the early stage of my collaboration with Godiva, with a skirts entirely covered with brown chocolate gaudets.
|Alice Pins, model & artist wearing my peacocks headpiece By anthony lycett for Self.Styled |
As Anthony Lycett keeps on doing it Self.styled documentary, I am lucky enough to collect some beautiful portrait realised on the side of the main shoot. The blue background is just behind the white one, and if models agreed to pose with my designs, I get amazing material as a bonus that beautifully stage my creations.
|Alice Pins, model & artist wearing my wonder woman neckpiece By anthony lycett for Self.Styled|
sometimes my piece got so much more effective on a simple lace black top, the intricacy of the design strike out more by contrast.
As Sue is always asking me to outdo myself, I choose for my last creation one of her favourite pop culture character from her personal mythology: wonder woman that embody a certain movement of feminism by being powerful and sexy at the same time. As Sue is only working with feminine figure, I collected female super hero (who are harder to find then their male alter ago).
Because I like to create piece with a deep meaning with several reading level, I wanted to evoke the female empowerment by the content and also the form. So all the figurine are stitched on a wax african fabric, handmade by a tribe in Ghana, where women support the local economy through their craft.
The aesthetic refer to the cartoon character of super shero comic book with the pop art onomatopoeia "boom".
|By anthony lycett |
|Alice Pins, model & artist wearing my tribal beaded inspired headpiece By anthony Lycett for Self.Styled|
Photoshoot with @sparkledropper
In a green jungle with Jurassic park dinosaur jacket
With memento mori day of the dead headpiece
|bespoke hand stitched pearl jacket and mermaid & shells 🐚 headpiece ✨|
|with Kawaii Hello kitty neckpiece|
|With tribal elephant neckpiece|
Postcard from a sunny place with plastic ducks dress
sliver sparkle fairy
|With circus clown neckpiece|
|With Hello kitty necklace|
Another article to add to my press book, about the positive aspect of being a "foreigner", very interesting and complex article about the power of diversity in a Brexit context.
find the all article HERE