‘Jolie Laide’, a French term translating as ‘ugly beauty’, is a collection that draws inspiration from methods where unconventional beauty has been explored through human form. Research began by looking at armour and how it does not highlight the body in the most flattering way, however the symmetry of the protective wear arguably shows beauty crafted in its own right. Expanding on this idea, the Japanese dance Butoh, which developed following The Second World War, was investigated for its exploration into the grotesque. The dance differentiates itself from classical Western choreography and carves out its own interpretation of beauty, despite not being traditionally beautiful. To capture this essence in terms of colour, visual research was carried out into painters like Mark Rothko who used colour as a way to convey emotion, and contemporary painters like Pat Steir who exploit colour in a conceptual and abstract way. The overlapping reds that were used in Rothko and Steir’s paintings, and the reds often used in the Butoh dancer’s costumes, set an obscure tone to capture this theme. Elements of knitted lace were included as trims in the form of scallop edges to embody a romantic tone. The main work and techniques were often carried out on the wrong side of the knit, challenging this idea of traditional beauty in the form of knit. As this collection is aimed towards the Avant Garde luxury sector of the fashion market, conventional yarn choices were paired with special yarns such as paper, silk steel and wire as they add a unique and extravagant aspect to the quality of the samples.
- Trend forecasting intern at Elementi Moda, Milan.
- Trims intern at Burberry, London.
- Knitwear production intern at Kepler, London.