Thursday, 24 March 2011

Redemption: A New Revolution

For our Research and Conceptualisation subject we have designed a poster that embodies the mood and portrays our conceptual objective, visually. The working title of my collection (not the thesis) is "Redemption: A Brand New Revolution". The following points are the aims and objectives I wish to fulfill in producing a collection.
  • To design and create a contemporary womenswear collection.
  • To create a subversion of uniform and garment association (i.e. what it meant to wear a certain piece of clothing and the image associated with it) focussing on the historic period of the Russian Revolution 1917.
  • To look at how a civilization was separated through ideals of uniform; focussing on the stigmas attached to wearing specific uniform or traditional dress. (Researching the regimes implemented by Tsar Peter the Great). 
  •  Altering the rules and regulations surrounding uniform and garment association that existed within this particular time frame. 
    •  For example:
      • Borrowing connotations from the silhouette of a military jacket but choosing a fabrication that is emblematic of the elite, such as velvet. 
      •  Designing a dress with features specific to the elite, but using fabrications and details from peasantry lifestyle: leathers, raw cottons etc.
  • As a consequence, creating the message of breaking the traditional rules.
    • Supporting the message of the people during the Revolution: a message of revolt and rebellion against the rules implemented.
    • To design and create a contemporary collection that tells the narrative of a society morphed together through battle and revolt.
    • Focussing on the shooting of the Romanovs as a point of reference in order to be specific rather than generic:
      • The brutality involved
      • The juxtaposition of social class extremes involved
      • The diminishing of an extravagant lifestyle
  •  Drawing influences of colour from both historic and contemporary influences; e.g. photographs, artwork, interiors and details in lifestyles other than dress. 
  •  Creating the subversion of uniformic qualities focussing on the period of the Russian Revolution.
  • To achieve subversion I will be changing the rules of implementation.
  • Exploring the notion of being “stripped back” from total opulence and luxury.
  • Using these inspirations and bringing them into a modern timeframe to make them wearable and contemporary.

This is the Poster: I advise you click on the picture to enlarge, and then zoom in if you wish to read the text!

Monday, 21 March 2011


On my research journey of Russia (and all things Russian related) I found this YouTube video of Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel Pre-Fall 2009 collection preparation.... It is devine, and although I plan to take a more stuctured aesthetic in my Final Collection this is very inspirational.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

If Pictures Could Speak..

...I'd have my entire thesis done by now!
I love that pictures can visually give us so much information and inspiration.

Images photographed by myself.

Image sourced from the internet: Russian Peasants during 1917.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A Lost Dynasty.

As mentioned in the previous post, we are encouraged to build up a narrative to inform and inspire our design decisions. I have been thoroughly researching the shooting of the Royal Romanov family. The royal family had been in their hiding home for several months before they were sentenced to death, and around midnight on July 17th 1918, the family was woken up in and ordered to put on their clothes, and head to the basement where they were shot brutally by a firing squad.

I found this montage of videos from movies that have been made about the shooting of the Romanov Family. I find it helps to be able to understand and feel the order events when you can visualise them. This YouTube video gives viewers an idea of how brutal the shootings were.

Within the collage in the previous post below, there is an image of a decayed room: that is the actual room that the shooting took place in.

The significance behind this attack is that they were the last Romanovs; a dynasty killed off as an act of revolt and rebellion.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

What's in a Narrative?

Armando, our mentor, keeps encouraging us to create a narrative that will inform our designs: a story that we can fall back on for inpsiration, or a character that will tell us who we are designing for... a muse. Essentially, my narrative will be drawn from the people and characters found in the Imperial period, before the Russian Revolution, such as the Romanov Family.

The Romanov Family was brutally murdered as a result of protest and revolt of the working class during Imperial Russia 1917...I want to create a mood that embodies the anger of the working class mixed or moulded with Royalty during this time; as if to create a "taking over" or "swapping" of social order.

This narrative is yet to be pushed further, however I created a collage of a woman I could imagine would capture the mood I intend to portray.

Collage from my design journal.

Working Title.

In our dissertation subject we have been focussing on our Dissertation (or Thesis) Proposal. After four drafts, on the proposal alone, I have finally come up with a Working Title. "Working" suggesting that, yes, it will most probably change or evolve. So far, I'm confident with how the research I have done will influence and inform my design decisions - and although it is early in the peace - I can already see my signature style shining through.

The working title for my Thesis is:

'Uniformity and Revolt: The demarcation of society through uniform and dress, and how it separated an entire nation during the Russian Revolution'.

I recall Vicki saying in our first lecture that if we are not happy with our proposal or our thesis then something isn't right; let's hope that my confidence in this is a symbol that I'm heading in the right direction!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Music to My Eyes.

These videos flawlessly capture the connection between music, dance, acting and fashion in a seamless and simply perfect way. There is a story within the films that is simplistic, yet beautiful, without the use text or any explanations. I find these videos awesomely inspiring and would love to do something similar with my own work; for my own inspiration.

Lou Doillon for Vanessa Bruno

Vanessa Bruno ft. Lou Doillon

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Point of Interest...

As mentioned in an earlier blog I am interested in the lifestyle of people and their way of living. Through further research I came to the conclusion that I wanted to focus on the lifestyles of both peasants and royalty during the Russian Revolution, for my final year collection. I'm particularly interested in the Romanov Family during this time (1917) and their brutal attacking. Pushing this idea further I am hoping to challenge the notions of dress within social divisions during the revolution; what defined classes, indeviduals, employers and/or soldiers, royalty (and the list goes on)?

I will further expand on this post - but for now just keeping it updated!

The Romanov Family

Anastasia, Age Six

Friday, 4 March 2011

Ballet Russes...Canberra Style.

Over the summer break I decided to take a day trip with my Mum, (who needed some convincing), to Canberra to see the Ballet Russes exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. I had previously taken an interest to the Russian lifestyle so I thought this may further inform my design inspiration...Or at least I was hoping it would as I wanted to make the three and a half hour car trip down there (and back)worth it.

And it was.

The gallery exhibited costumes from the Ballet Russes that were designed by a collaboration of musicians, artists, dancers and fashion designers in order to make these stories and musicals come to life. Initially I was stunned at how small people were at the turn of the century...but then I was quickly distracted by the amazing silhouettes in the costumes... over-exaggerated sleeves, shoulders and detailing. In addition to this, the use of colour was outstanding, (keep in mind these costumes would have faded over the years as well). As these garments were designed for stage - everything had to be more exaggerated, bigger and bolder. The interpretations of people within social classes during these periods was very informative, and sometimes humorous, not to mention the attention to detail and fabrication... velvets, leathers, beads, silks, furs.

I bought the book.. and because I couldn't help myself I bought a book on Tsars throughout the Imperial Court.

This was truly inspiring, and well worth the trip! Not to mention I had a fabulous lunch on the water - I'll definitely be going back there!

Le Pavillon d'Armide, Madame Thamar Karsavina & Aldolph Bolm, 1909

Cloak from a costume for a harpist: Cotton, wood, paint and metallic thread. 1909
Images from the Ballet Russes website Gallery:

Journal work and visual inspiration.

X Marcs the Spot.

I really love and appreciate the immediate sense of lifestyle and reality within the Marc by Marc Jacobs campaigns. There is a relatable rawness within the images that makes them instantly attractive. It's as though the images are telling a story of the people within the photographs; an intentional detail the designer most likely wanted in order to tell a story about his designs.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Advertisements.

My attitude towards this year...

"Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it... and I shall move the world."
- Archimedes

Once upon a time...

For a long time now I've had an attraction to people's lifestyles; how people live and why they dress, act and think certain ways - where they travel and what they find along they way, and how these things "define" someone or inform others of who they may be. Over the break I rummaged through old photographs, pictures I had taken myself and images that had a strong nostalgic feeling about them. It was not only the story behind the pictures, but the muted colours and textures within the photographs that attracted me to them. When organising and collating the images I found in an ordered manner, the aesthetic I was attracted to became instantly apparent.

 This was the beginning of my inspirational journey..

Images from my journal.

Photo taken by myself at London's Portobello Markets.