Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fashion Untamed.....a review of sorts!

I have collected a number of books from Amazon of the fashion/costume variety over the last few years. So it's time to do some blog reviews on these or at least share some of my favorite images, inspiration, and if valid relate it to my own design journey or aspirations for the future.

The desire to get this book would seem obvious to people who know me well......for those that don't, try:-  obsessed with reptilian prints/skins, feathers and leather and that would be  a good starting point:-

 The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Generally speaking I'm a visual person and if a fashion or costume book contains enough interesting images I pretty easily pleased. But I do also have a very analytical side, so I am fascinated with the psychology behind both behavior and design as an expression of deeper meaning. As it turns out this book fits both of those criteria. That means Yay!! I have actually taken to reading this one instead of just turning the page to see the images.

MAN - EATER aka Femme Fatale

This is actually the last section of the book, but I start here because I enjoyed the reading material and loved the collection of images.

'The hyperbolic avian headdress was a prominent accessory of the Victorian and Edwardian beauty. The exploitative rage for exotic plumage, single feathers, and full carcasses, which began in the mid-nineteenth century, was responsible for the extinction of several bird species. Excessive, extravagant plumage is therefore  an especially apt  metaphor for the femme fatale as a threatening predator with ravenous material desires.....'

Of course this section had to contain a few Thierry Mugler pieces.....he's a bit of a pioneer in femme fatale in recent times after all (yes, I love his work).

'Begining in  the 1980s Mugler imprinted leather with the marking of insects, serpents, and other beasts, creating iconic representations of vampish femininity in garments that are physically constraining yet visually empowering and intimidating.'

 Snake Goddess

 Jean Paul Gaultier



Some of the other sections 


Jean Paul Gaultier




 Bob Mackie



'Produced during the period of first wave feminism, the 1901 fashion plate depicts a women whose corseted pouter-pigeon shape is sartorially overlaid with the markings of the spotted cat......'

The above is just a small amount of what this book entails, I would recommend it to anyone sharing similar interests in fashion/costume and pyschology.

*In regards to my own designs I can definitely see why the use of reptile prints, feathers and leather are such an attractive and repetitive feature in my work. Not only imparting my appreciation of the Goddess, Femme Fatale, and Warrior Archetypes but also giving me a physical form with which I can share and empower others.

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