After barely getting a chance to glance through the array of shows all throughout Fashion Week I find myself more often than not enjoying designers that are popular outside of the United States. I am falling in love undoubtedly with Australian designers through the eyes of Romance Was Born. Initially I had been intrigued by their Marvel comic inspired collection that was Summer ‘12. I was eager to talk about it and it’s personal reference that resonates within me.
As I continued to research the brand more in depth and view other collections… I found myself more intrigued by this Spring ‘12 pre-collection. It’s true… I have a deep connection with anything nerdy or eclectic and that is exactly why RWB has me giddy with excitement.
The lookbook showed obvious inspiration from the popular film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Being one of my favorite films for more reasons than one I had a lot of fun viewing each look and trying to decipher the references to the movie. More often than not I enjoy designers who bring a direct inspirational reference out in their pieces to the point where it’s brutally obvious. I never liked a cryptic anything. I also have a tendency to really enjoy designers that focus not on what is on trend but rather more graphical elements like prints and playing with things that seem fantastical and out of the ordinary.
We can clearly see at face value that the model looks very much like an oompa loompa with her vegetable green locks and whited out brows. When we continue on we get bombarded by candy colors and swirling prints which I’m sure are a very similar experience to those who are actually in a made up candy factory. The tight body con dress portraying an acid trip rainbow frenzy that could be related to candy being swirled into a giant vat. The contrasting swirl and straight lined blouse almost secretly sporting a suspender print and white high waisted pant combo makes us feel like maybe even Wonka himself is present and feeling a little laid back without his jacket. And of course the final look that immediately forced me to picture a little orange man traversing a green path going about his business in a candy forest.
When fashion can invoke memories or feelings within us, especially ones that are child like in nature, it can almost make us feel a new sense of excitement for something. Something we already know but haven’t seen from another pair of eyes. When we can put that relation into fashion it makes us much more connected with the artistry and inspiration instead of just a hefty price tag.
And for that… I thank Romance Was Born. Because like the name says… it really was.
I am in love.
Stay tuned for another review of the current SS13 collection that premiered Monday closing the first day of MBFWA. It’s one you aren’t going to want to miss. I will give you a hint though….
Be ready to travel down the rabbit hole.
Since everyone enjoyed the Ophelia inspired photos so much I decided to share with you all the real inspiration behind it all. This season Jean Charles de Castalbajac literally did a direct reference to Ophelia by Millais by adorning the print on a smoothly constructed pencil skirt, accordion pleated sleeveless dress, and one of my personal favorites the motorcycle jacket.
The collection sported many motifs among an otherwise pretty stagnant color scheme. This made the vivid prints even easier to fall in love with. His main goal was quoted as taking poetry and making it into a wearable statement. In this particular instance what could be more poetic than the death of one of the dearest characters in Hamlet surrounded in naturalism and vivid color. It causes us to feel like we are wearing a piece of art and poetry more directly than just a well tailored open sleeve crop top. We draw direct reference from the literature we know and can translate it into an emotional and wearable statement.
Even if you’re feeling the pain of Ophelia… at least your outfit doesn’t have to mimic that.
(A snippet of the original Ophelia by Millais)
Ophelia Pt. 3
After a much anticipated week or so I decided to finally post the final part of our three part series inspired by none other than “Ophelia” by John Everett Millais. This painting always resonated with me ever since I learned the backstory behind Ophelia’s tragedy. The work by Millais juxtaposes this known tragedy with a calm sense of beauty when we see her most romantic death surrounded by natural elements, flora, and a sense of etherealness that is unmatched by other artists who have made the same attempts.
For three years now I have cultivated this idea of what a modern Ophelia would be like. Ophelia is a character that suffers great tragedies and feelings of regret. The flowers used not only in the painting, but here in these photographs are symbolic of the many things that can hold us down “under the water”. Sometimes we feel crippled by our sense of grief… but at the same time there is great beauty within sorrow. In order to really appreciate sorrow departing from us we first must dive into the murky waters of our own subconscious and hope that once we discover our own self revelations we can again breathe.
This is something very relatable to instances within my own life . And these photos are more than just photos but symbolic of this point and time in which I am no longer drowning… but breathing.
Refer to part 1.
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