“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind” – William Shakespeare, Midsummer’s Night Dream, 1597
Inspired by Alexander McQueen’s VOSS (S/S 2001) collection, this fashion project reflects upon the transience of fashion and the importance of inner beauty. Real beauty is the one that shines from within and is sustainable because it doesn’t depend on the fast changing fashion standards, but only gets better with time. It’s important to remember that it’s not clothes that make someone attractive, but unique personality and beauty of one’s spirit.
I was also inspired by the notion of wabi-sabi – the Japanese tradition of appreciation of natural imperfection and obsolescence – and the art of Medieval Ages that would put beauty of spirit above appearance. I wanted to create a wide organic shape that would conceal the body of a wearer rather than emphasize it.
I used the trash bags as a metaphor of eternity (plastic doesn’t decompose for at 450 years) and also to address the notions of sustainability and the environmental problems. The bags were cut in flat pieces and sewn together on a sewing machine. The neckline was embellished with the dead leaves and branches I had collected from the street and hand sewn to the bags. In addition, I created a pattern that represented the spirit of nature and applied it to the bags using the silk screen method. I was trying to achieve the effect of beautiful aging and decay with the degrading prints. It was my first experience with silk screen, although I used to do batik that is similar. Here are some pictures of the work in process
For the photoshoot, I chose the setting that represented holiness and sublimity of spirit. It was taken in the staircase of the NY Public Library on 6th Ave, which interior resembled a Medieval castle or a church. The photography was inspired by Tim Walker who’s known for his fairy tale aesthetic .
Simultaneously, I was working on a research paper on the same topic. My understanding and vision of this project shaped as I got deeper into McQueen’s aesthetic and world view.