|Bedroom Hymns, Look 6, Photo by Brenndan Laird, Designed and Styled by Christine Ama.|
This marks the year of what some people consider our last. There is talk of an apocalypse, amusing for most, for others, a certainty. But regardless of the legitimacy of this Armageddon theory, it has bred an incessant buzz regarding the foreseeable bleakness of the future. Surely we will live to see the collections of 2013, but do we want to? Do we feel confident in the crooked path the future is taking? Is there any chance for change or any faint glimmer of hope?
These thoughts influenced my final look for our end-of-term Fashion Styling project in June, 2012. Rather than pulling expensive pieces from whatever retailer I could cajole, I wanted rather to create something entirely from scratch. I was enthralled with notions of a "new nude," a post-apocalyptic moth who has survived the blast and now scatters the earth in search of food, warmth and physical contact.
Model Kama K wears sleeves constructed from chicken wire and nude pantyhose. The bodice was created by casting my best friend's torso with plaster strips, adding texture with acrylic gesso and colour with wet bags of tea. I liked the idea of the delicate, slim figure of a model floating inside the body of a "real woman," creating an armour against the elements. Boy's tightie-whities were also tea-dyed and the shoes were a last minute purchase from the nearest Sally Ann. I knew I wanted the biggest, ugliest runners I could get. Heels or even men's dress shoes (also considered) would add too much polish. I didn't want polish. I wanted to create a creature rather than a fashion model, an androgynous hybrid of woman, boy and beast, set for survival in a now destroyed world. The alarm clock was an idea we had talked about for weeks. I wanted some reference to time, in particular, early morning. "5:30am" just kept jogging, arbitrarily, through my head. In the end, the black old-fashioned timepiece works as a kind of handbag, a "counter-clutch" as I like to call it, and adds just the right contrast to an otherwise monochromatic tribute to bare neutrals.
The school assignment was a GROUP PROJECT, a phrase that rarely instills excitement in students. One bad seed can often cause a great vision go horribly wrong. Fortunately, I found myself blessed with a crew of colleagues who not only shared a similar aesthetic, but each possessed such solid individual ideas and ambitions, bringing something unique and ultimately their own to the final product. Each of us was responsible for styling our own look, but the objective was that everything should be cohesive in the end, telling a clear editorial story.
Mood Board and Excerpt from the Marketing Brief for our
Final Editorial Concept - "Bedroom Hymns"
In the real world, we can’t always be ourselves. Mandated by social order, we question who we are and what we must become. We try, futilely, to defy conformity and the need to belong, but the outside world gets the better of us, day after day.
The bedroom is a holy place. The chamber of our honesty. The sanctum of the self. We are naked, passionate and raw. Unconfined in confinement. A firefly in a jar. Bedroom Hymns is the story of ourselves when in our most private space. The realities of who we are when no one is watching.
The six-look spread will explore these ideas through composition of garments modern and manufactured, with a DIY twist. Odd combinations, seemingly reckless alterations, household items such as bulldog clips, safety pins and pantyhose reworked to enhance and alter the looks, creating fashionable images with gothic touches, revised in a way that is original and chic. Architecture will meet etherealism, verging on hazardous, but will ultimately emerge sophisticated and beautiful.
|Styled by Sean Reilly. Black Tulle headpiece fastened with large dog clip, Evil Twin Solar Flare Bustier, orange belt, black men's trousers embellished by hand with literally thousands of strait pins, cheap Aldo shoes.|
|Styled by Flora Chou, handmade sheer top and skirt, jewelry from Catherine Hartey and Army of Rokosz.|
|Styled by Jennifer Broto. Traditional Indonesian beaded dress jacket, |
yards of cascading navy silk, bandage-bound feet.
|Styled by Maggie Cheung. Father's clothes, embellished safety-pinned lapel, Bunny Ring from Army of Rokosz.|
|Styled by Alanna Powell, H&M black gown embellished by hand with gold hardware.|
|Styled by Christine Ama. An alternative to the final shot, albeit lopsided sleeves, kind of cool.|
Each voice was heard, every song was sung and the elements contributed and danced with each other in a kind of harmonious disharmony. I actually found myself teary-eyed during the final shoot. After weeks of planning and preparation, seeing our visions come to life was a moving and creative awakening.
Special Thanks to:
VCC Fashion Styling Instructor - Melody Rhind
Photographer - Brenndan Laird
Brad Gogh Studio
Hairstylist - Katelyn Ladencuk
Makeup Artist - Lucy Anne
Jewelry Contributors - Army of Rokosz, Catherine Hartley and Kara Woo of Twelvegems
Clothing Contributor - Jenny Fleur Loves