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When East Meets West: Turbans
Turban—Oscar de la Renta scarf, Sheer Button Down—forever 21, Royal Blue Jacket—forever 21, Lime Green Skirt—Shin Choi ,Boots—Veronella , Tights—Philippe Matignon, Sunglasses—Unknown (bought at some gas station shop)
I have posted before about how much I love turbands, but I’ve found that they’ve kind of been my back up whenever I feel like doing adding some color to the top of my brow. And when you do something again and again, it begins to feel tedious and uninspired. This is the antithesis of everything fashion aspires to be, or should be. It is that very reason trends are constantly going in and out each season, the reason trends are constantly being discarded and recycled. When a trend begins to feel overdone or tired, designers banish all traces from their collections until they can revisit the trend and re-tool it to make if feel fresh.
For example, for years leggings were considered to be the ultimate fashion sin. In fact, everything from the eighties was considered a tragic error that the fashion elite held in scorn. The proportions were off, the clothes unflattering, and the color combinations too garish for the Y2K era of low rise jeans and glamorous gowns. But then, as we neared the end of the decade, everything began to feel too perfect. Hollywood starlets were taught not to make any mistakes and those glamorous gowns and too tight jeans felt, well, boring. It was time for a change. Designers looked at the eighties with the fresh eye of modern times and brought it back. And thus began America’s love affair for all things leggings—and yes, jeggings are included.
Despite my comfort in being able to properly pull off the turband, I waded further into the treacherous waters of the fashion unknown and decided to try the extremely-difficult-to-pull-off-sometimes-hideously-ugly-TURBAN.
Turbans are one of the most unique and interesting toppers in millinery history. Historically, it was used in the far reaches of the Middle East to protect ones head from the harsh sun and sand. Because of Westerner’s penchant for the exotic and mysterious, turbans became a popular head covering for women in the late 18th century and those who wore it were the height of fashion.
Today, the donning of a turban can make or break your fashion image. It can cast your visage into the depths of dowdy housewife, or it can elevate you to fashion goddess. The key is to look less Rosie the Riveter and more Glamazon Fashion Queen Kate Moss. There needs to be a glamorous aspect of your attire to attempt to mimic the glamorous effects of the turban.
For me, that means throwing on some mammoth sunnies. Otherwise known as, “bug eyes”, these sunglasses make you look and feel like a movie-star. And it also helps hide your face from those ridiculous stares. Don’t worry, they’re only staring at you because they think they’ve spotted Sarah Jessica Parker. So keep your chin up, smile, and you’ll stay fabulously fashionable!
Deconstruction Research for Live Project
Through researching into the concept of recycling and deconstruction within art and fashion, I discovered two fashion designers that are celebrated for their innovation and creativity within eco-design and fashion; Gary Harvey and Marc le Bihan.
Gary Harvey is a visionary leader in the world of sustainable eco-fashion, making innovative couture-style dresses from discarded materials such as the Financial Times newspaper or second-hand Levi jeans. All of the materials used within his creations are second hand to avoid wastage, as he has been quoted saying that people wear a garment “one or two times then discard it because it’s suddenly deemed aesthetically unimportant and out of date when there’s years of life left in the garment.” (http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-fashion/gary-harvey-couture-fashion-with-a-conscience.html viewed on 22nd April 2012) I find Harvey’s approach to fashion extremely interesting, particularly as I have become more aware of fabric wastage and the environmental consequences of the vast amount of waste we produce as artists, since researching and giving a presentation to fellow Master students on sustainability, within my practice of costume.
A Harvey creation can be seen below:
Although I find Harvey’s work extremely innovative and environmentally inspired in terms of his choice of materials, I feel that the technique of using discarded newspaper, wedding dresses and even laundry bags is slightly too novelty for my live project of the Opera, The Turn of the Screw. I want to use the concept of deconstructed and reconstructed garments combined with the idea of recycling, through the use of second hand modern garments sourced from charity shops an online sites, but in a much more subtle way than the work of Gary Harvey. I very much agree with the statement that Harvey expresses through his creations, however I feel that the point of my costumes is about combining the historical and contemporary in a strange, almost ominous way, similarly to the plot of the production, not about making a statement.
During my research into sustainable design and deconstruction, I came across Parisian designer, Marc le Bihan, who has consequently inspired me greatly for this live project. Similarly to Harvey, Le Bihan uses already constructed garments as the starting fabric for his pieces. They are then taken apart, altered, adapted and ultimately sewn back together into different garments, forms and silhouettes. An example of Le Bihan’s work can be seen below:
As can be seen from the images above, Le Bihan uses already constructed clothing to take apart and morph into other often opposing garments, such as shirts and suit jackets transformed into dresses and blouses. He uses combinations of textures, qualities and colours of fabric, creating an unusual, innovative effect to his creations. I particularly like his use of men’s shirts, such as the collars and button-stands on more delicate sheer fabrics (seen on the far right image). I find the use of the collars and lapels of shirts and jackets particularly effective, as they have very distinct, recognisable shapes that once placed on a different area of a garment, become very exciting. His subtle use of deconstruction and reconstruction isn’t immediately evident when viewing the garments for the first time, as they appear to simply be innovative, creative cuts of clothing. This subtlety of construction is something that I will try and incorporate into the deconstruction of the garments used for the costumes of this live project, as I want the audience to have to look very close at the costumes before noticing that Mrs Grose’s apron is in fact made from men’s shirts, for example. I have been further inspired by Le Bihan’s use of subdued colours and monochrome as these colours are appropriate for the brief set by Jon and Janet, regarding the use of soft, restrained colour schemes within the costumes.
Overall, I have been greatly inspired by the work of both Gary Harvey and Marc Le Bihan for the starting stages of The Turn of the Screw project work. Their use of innovative deconstruction in both obvious and subtle ways create very visually dramatic and exciting outcomes, that almost allude the viewer into thinking that the couture-style pieces are made from new flat fabric, like most designer’s work. I will explore and experiment with deconstruction and reconstruction during this initial starting stage of the project, as I feel it will help to further inform my design and embroidery work. Using Marc Le Bihan’s creations as inspiration I will begin sampling using men’s shirts as a source of second-hand fabric to create pieces appropriate for my 1890 costumes.
Riz has the art of Rizcycling!
Riz, not only create the “The most beautiful and environmental board shorts in the world” but are also the only swim brand in the world where all the products are recyclable and offer this service…an ideal product lifecycle to follow!