Thursday, August 4, 2011

fall 2011 inspirations part 1

image from "The Virgin Spring' Henrietta Hellberg & Hedvig Palm by Julia Hetta fro ACNE SS11 editorial by, taken from Fashion Copious

for the fall 2011 photo shoot, i wanted a moodier lighting since we are shooting in Jason's studio and not on location- but I also enjoyed the Rembrandt quality of the light source here, coming from the natural light of an open window?  I feel like the mood in this image is touching upon what I am after... I am also enjoying the flushed cheeks - reminds me of fall when thinks get a little bit brisk

hair and makeup are a little trickier- the model I am using has long, and lovely hair, so I am in the process of trying to figure out how to style it.  I am kind of into the idea of having two looks:  One a little bit more feminine with hair down and long, and another that is a bit more masculine to play up this duality of character I have in mind.
I am thinking I want a strong brow- and I mentioned the flushed fall cheeks.... hair is always hard for me to think about for some reason- maybe it is because I rely so heavily on my best gal and hair/ makeup artist:  Colleen O'Sullivan, whose aesthetic I trust a great deal- I can usually ramble off some thoughts, and she always hits the nail on the head with whatever she comes up with.  We have worked together on so many shoots at this point that she probably knows what I want before I do.
As far as makeup goes, I was originally thinking a look like this- but not quite so "done"
and I like the strong brow- but the dark eye shadow may be a little too much especially if we are adding a lot of color to the cheeks.

 I have continued to be inspired by the images unearthed in the collection of color photos from the 30's and 40's in the archives of the Library of Congress.  I have been especially drawn to the images of strength in the women that were producing and working at home while their husbands and brothers were fighting abroad during the second world war.  I know the image of Rosie the Riveter has been drilled into our subconscious, as propaganda seems to do that, but the fact is, the pure can-do-titude of women during this time of crisis created a fertile ground for the women's movement.  And it is refreshing to see the liberation of women unfolding in these images of real Rosies:

I am also thinking about implimenting a "doo rag" head wrap type of look
but of course- I need to figure out how to give that a modern feel- I am not trying to re create a vintage look, but I am interested in how i can pull inspiration from its' essance, and make it modern and my own.  This is always the challenge of the designer- I am not trying to appropriate, merely gain inspiration from these images.  To pick and to pull, and re-assemble- in my own way!
The photo shoot is literally my favorite part of designing each collection- it's when you get to tell the story- and I love to tell stories.

The mix of the masculine and feminine in this image is of particular interest to me.  Always, while designing- I am careful to try to balance the frilly details with a masculine cut or vice versa.  As i was researching this era, I became really obsessed with "make do and mend", a slogan urging women to mend older clothes or even to re-purpose their husbands "civies" and old suits, into smart outfits for themselves.  This, of course, created a new kind of fashionable attire that was masculine in detail but feminine in it's application. (there is something so amazing about the above image- the silk blouse with the leather work gloves) There were detailed books and magazine articles showing how one could lay a pattern on top of an old men's suit or coat, to utilize the material in the most efficient way to create a new garment.

a propoganda image to promote make-do and mend

One of the pieces for FA11 was inspired 100% from this concept.  I bought several wool men's suit jackets from the thrift store and began to try to felt them down, i cut them apart and took them in, I tried to make the fit more feminine, while keeping the details masculine.  The result was a lovely new fit with a masculine feel- it will be appearing in FA11 in a navy wool/ cashmere blend- and I am really excited about it.
let's talk about blond ambition
let's talk about modernity versus nostalgia
one of my very first icons of fashion was Madonna- I know I am not the only little girl who stared for hours at the cover of my "Like a Virgin" album cover and thought to myself "Now THAT is a woman"

(again with the strong brows)

The thing is, Madonna is just as sexy in a men's 3 piece suit as 
she is in a lacy bustier.

Madonna channeling Marlene Dietrich during her blond ambition era

It's sexy to mix feminine and masculine when done correctly, a finger wave do and some long lashes will help create balance, and that suit should fit you in such a way that enhances and embraces femininity-  balance is good thing.  It is not so shocking these days- to see a woman in a suit,
as it was in the time of Marlene Dietrich-  but I do think there is something to discuss when the entire country, or world wants to have it out over how Hillary Clinton looked in her suit, during the 2008 elections as opposed to how Sarah Palin looked in her suit....

In the FA11 collection, I suppose I was trying to create the wardrobe around a woman who has somehow achieved balance in her life- she has style and ambition, but she also finds power in her ability to be still as well.  She finds contentment in her career, but also the small pleasures of life:
planting things and getting her hands dirty in the soil.  Perhaps it is the new feminism- we embraced sisterhood and women's rights, then threw it away to be CEOs and working girls, then we tried to figure out the way to do both and have it all, a career, a family, a home, a this, a that.... I am not sure, personally what the answer is- or how to achieve balance.  I feel like women are constantly making sacrifices- sometimes their home life suffers, sometimes their career suffers, sometimes there is no time alone to reflect.  I suppose I am wanting to create a wardrobe, for this woman that I have yet to meet, or that I would like to be, maybe it is just part of a visualization technique.  But these are some of the themes swirling around fall. 

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