I am back again… Today I will introduce you to the new RL work of a known SL artist and designer: Irena Morris, aka in SL as Eshi Otawara… We spoke already about Irena in one of our older posts, about her art and her inspirations… Today her inspiration has become a dress, a black dress (of course), fully handmade and made of an intriguing material…
INTERVIEW WITH IRENA MORRIS
Tell us a bit about the history of the >”garbage dress”…
Sometime at the beginning on 2012 I’ve googled art organizations in the Milwaukee area in order to find some kind of a community I could possibly take part in and I came across Milwaukee Red Line. On the front page of their website they had an open call for dress designers for a competition called Re-purposed Runway whose mission was to create celebrity icon inspired wearable items out of materials that could be recycled in unexpected ways but unfortunately end up in landfills. They required a short portfolio of previous works on actual fashion garments based on which they would select 24 to compete. I did not have anything to show as far as “real life” work except a toga style dress I’ve done in college and, of course, my Second Life dress design portfolio so I’ve submitted the application with a lengthy explanation of Second Life and I’ve asked them to consider me because I myself was beyond curious to see what I could come up with in this challenge. So, after I got a notice of being accepted into the competition I’ve procrastinated for months trying to figure out what I would create. It was quite unnerving because I have never before created anything like this – the challenge was huge for me as I am not a dress designer but more of a fashion illustrator. Finally, I’ve come up with a shirt I wanted to recycle and I decided to weave in strips of garbage bags in order to get volume and texture. Cheap materials, no sewing – perfect! I spent about 200 hours and 300 garbage bags cut into 4 x 12 inch strips and I’ve woven then into the shirt and into long torn up bed sheet pieces in order to create the skirt. The dress took shape above any expectations and I’ve topped it off by blow-torching the plastic in order to give it more volume. The entire creation process was like meditation because I had to weave in some 5000 garbage bag strips into the dress so this painstakingly repetitive action eventually turned into a form of meditation. It became so automated to weave that hours would go by without me noticing time. I like when that happens in my art process. It pulls me in and that’s when magic happens.
Eventually we had several shows at the Wisconsin State Fair to promote Red Line organization and the final competition in September. All designers came up with some pretty amazing work. It was a mixed contestant crowd, from a couple teens to several professional fashion designers. It was a great experience all together!
Why the name “garbage”?, what´s the inspiration behind?
The inspiration for my dress was Georgia O’Keeffe. She was born in Wisconsin and I’ve wanted to honor someone from this state that has been my home for the past 4 years. O’Keeffe very often appears in photographs wearing black or dark clothing, she painted high contrasts and she painted wonderful architectural pieces as well as flowers. The name of my piece is not really “garbage bag dress” it is Black Dahlia. Funny as it is, I did not think of the notorious murder at the time of giving this piece the name – so in choosing the name Black Dahlia my aim was to honor O’Keeffe paintings.
Why “black” *smiles*?
Black is powerful, grounding…you cannot be indifferent to it. It pulls you in.
How is the garbage dress done? what kind of fabric did you use? How long did it take to conceive and create it?
I used one old perforated shirt, few strips of torn up bed sheet, approximately 300 garbage bags and a blow torch. I’ve worked on the piece over the time period of two months and approximate 200 hours.
How would you define your real life fashion comparing to your SL art? what´s similar, what´s different?
In RL, you have to take many things into account that in SL you do not have to worry about. Mainly the weight of the materials and how they behave. Second Life has the option to manipulate the physics and gravity and in RL you have to take the existing physics and gravity into account. You also have to manage things such as transporting the piece and making sure to do so with minimal damage to it which was quite a challenge for me because the dress I’ve created is really voluminous.
A new Irena Morris real life fashion label coming soon?
I don’t think I’ll declare a fashion brand on one dress made of garbage bags. There is still lots more to learn. Meanwhile, there is a brand of paintings people are encouraged to treat themselves with – it is all conducive to my overall capability to produce more.
If we want to buy it?
I am absolutely willing to sell the Black Dahlia dress. It’s stretchy so it can fit anyone from size 4 – 20. That’s another magical thing about it! If anyone is interested in buying it, you are welcome to make me an offer via e-mail eshi.otawara(at)gmail.com
I apologize for my silence in the last weeks… I was really busy SL side, but I promise I will be more active from now on…
Today I introduce you to a young and talented british fashion designer: Meera Sharma. Meera´s creations are innovative, strong and timeless. A black dressed powerfull superhero female the inspiration behind her fashion, leather plastics and taffeta the fabric which translate at best her vision. Darkness, power and a modern strong femininity, what I see in Meera´s fashion…
Enjoy the interview!
INTERVIEW WITH MEERA SHARMA
Where are you from and how old are you?
I am originally from the North of England, Lancashire, but moved to London to pursue a career in fashion. I am 24 going on 25…..
You are a recent fashion design graduate, can you tell us a bit about your experience and background working in the fashion industry.
Yes I recently graduated and held my graduate show as part of the prestigious Westminster fashion show, were I debut by collection. Previous to this I have participated in a variety of work experience placements which included working with magazines and designers such as Jonathan Saunders.
Where did your passion for fashion stem from? Was it from childhood or has it developed more recently?
I have always had a passion for fashion, from a young age whether it was designing clothes for my barbie dolls or just observing people’s fashion sense be it on the road or on TV. It has developed from that and then doing my degree enhanced it more also.
Your collection was all black. How much do you love black and why?
I decided to do an all black collection because black is a colour that is timeless it will always be in fashion and can work with any colour. The colour also fitted in with the inspiration behind my collection, which is based on the powerful female superhero. Black is a powerful colour and translated my vision well.
Any other colors you like to indulge with?
I actually love colours, my favourite colour is in fact pink!
What about the fabrics you use in your collection? They are all very shiny, imperative and plastics…
Yeah again I wanted my fabrics to translate the powerful vibe from my inspiration. I used leathers, plastics and taffeta fabrics as they translated my vision over well.
What´s the inspiration behind your collection? When I look at them I see a strong statement, for strong women with personality…
Yes you are completely right. My clothing are for powerful women who are not afraid to be themselves and express themselves. The inspiration behind my collection came from my love of comic books. I love the female superhero’s and developed this idea into my collection. I am looking at the two personalities to this woman, on one hand she is a superhero but on the other she is a normal woman, I translated this into my collection with the various layers and the cut out fabrics, and the fact the garments can change shape.
Regarding the design of the clothing you seem to use a lot of drapes, why is this?
I think drapes are quite sexy as when they are done correctly they can add that sex appeal and femininity to women, so I wanted to add this as to me the female superhero is quite sexy as well as being powerful.
With few adjectives how do you describe your fashion?
Sexy, powerful and innovative!
I apologize for the silence of the last days, I was pretty busy but now I am back again….
So… After New York Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week, I could not avoid to talk about Paris Fashion Week, the homa of what is “Haute” and it´s Spring 2013 collections…. The names of the designers involved do not need a introduction, of course. A lot of blacks, symbol of elegance, strictness and extravaganza, black suits and classic echoes reinterpreted with modern accents. Lanvin city chic and modern, Gaultier, charming furturistic, dinstinctive as usual.. and much more.. enjoy the photos…
Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2013
Saint Laurent Spring 2013
Dior Spring 2013
Alexander Mc Queen Spring 2013
Valentino Spring 2013
John Galliano Spring 2013
Lanvin Spring 2013
Eventually a show I really enjoyed… Krizia Spring 2013 collection stands out the crowd for elegance, style, freshness, naturalness and grace… A “New Lightness”, as the name of the collection, made of colors from ivory to acquamarine, black and whites and total black for a reserved yet very stilish and modern lady. Patterns and colors borrowed from the nature, animaliers and simplicity at the same time, the inimitable Krizia jacket embellished with sophisticated souvenir d’Afrique, seen for example in the encrustations of crocodile scales. Perfect creations for a moderate yet imperative lady to drink a cocktail in the desert, transparencies revealing elegantly naked breasts… sensual golden high cuff bracelets, pumas pythons and toucans in the patterns…
I so enjoyed this collection, symble of high italian style, that even the colored dresses seemed very appealing to me. Afterall is always about design…
The show took place yesterday, around 16,40 in the private Krizia showroom. The style of the catwalk was very simple and minimal, all in white and black. A intimate athmosphere for a intimate collection. The public applauded more than once, during the whole show. A real success I would say…
And from the pre-show…
The Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week close it´s doors today: 13 september… In it´s last days the NYFW showed it´s best…
Marc Jacobs optical outfits came in wide stripes, black and white, brown and red, with matching purses. A contemporary fashion which mixes the conventional office attire with a post modernism and 60´s echoes… Here an interesting article on New York Times about Marc Jacobs spring 2013 collection.
Wes Gordon chooses black, lace, swarovsky, feathers and simple bright red to enhance a feminine beauty with an edge…
And what more?
Wes Gordon spring 2013
Theyskens Theory spring 2013
Vivienne Tam spring 2013
Marc Jacobs spring 2013
while walking on the path of darkness and light it happens sometimes to meet other humans which have something in common with us, Goethe would call it an “elective affinity”… An affinity which goes far beyond “sharing a similar fashion taste” and goes more in the direction “we share a similar perspective on life and this World”, a lifestyle in a way, but more than that. Wearing black is often something more fondamental than a mere taste and becomes, for many black addicted, a very own (and strict) way to shout out their personalities, individualism and toughts.
I have the tendency to find out my similars, “dark” humans like me, and to share with them toughts and answers.
Why I always end up wearing black? Why Why Why.. A very simple yet very complex question…
While seeking for the final answer, today I introduce to you a russian friend and perfect dark lady: Augustine… Augustine lives in Moscow, she is project manager for a translation agency, loves to wear black and counts a big deal of experience in the Gothic scene…
Today Augustine will tell us why she loves black…
…So, let´s see what happens when Dark Lady meets another Dark Lady…
You dress almost always black, why?
As long as I remember myself, it was always my way to show that I was different… As I used to say: “I am the only animal of my kind.” I am a queen of my own kingdom and my kngdom is me. There is nothing else I have. There is nothing I have to prove.
As a teenager I was fascinated by the style of such gothic divas as Barbara Steele, Siouxsie Sioux and Diamanda Galas.
The women who always had their own way, their own point of view on everything and the strength to do whatever they found right.
Black is a colour of revolt. The colour of calm strength and protest.
We wear black. We do not agree with the way this world lives. We do not approve it. We do not find it either aesthetically or ethically appropriate. We will never be a part of it.
Yes. I do wear black at work all my life. My former Boss was an eccentric Asian billionaire. He was gay. And he just admired all that was non-ordinary. So he was quite happy with the fact that I was goth.
Though I’d say usually I mix/mixed retro beatnik style with military and Victorian gothic; and all that is sharp, edgy and eccentric.
Now, my colleagues just got used to the way I look.
Any other colors you indulge with from time to time?
I can put on all-red or totally multicolored, inspired by Frida Kahlo outfit sometimes, because is also looks rather aggressive and individual.
What does black represents to you? Power? Sorrow? Ambivalence? or what else?
Black is power for no doubt. But it is strictness as well. It stresses individualism. To wear black is always a challenge. It’s a color of black magic and loneliness. The color of anger and passion. Good color for those who dare to be themselves.
When did you start wearing black? Was this taste always in you or you built it up with the time?
I remember as a child I admired the stories about ghosts and all that was mysterious and scary. I think I was 3 or 4… Despite I had a lot of normal dolls, I took a piece of plastic and a couple of rags and made myself a doll. The one that I loved the most. She had navy blue hair, greyish-white pale face and her dress was a piece of black velvet. I thought she was perfect. Seriously.
So guess there was always something in my blood.
I started wearing black with rather heavy make-up when I was a teenager. Nina Hagen and Honey West were my make-up teachers. And beautiful “horror queen” Barbara Steele of course. I still think her image in Fellini’s 8 1/2 is an absolute dark perfection.
Could you tell us a bit about the dark scene in Moscow?
It was rather interesting in the late 90s… I think there were only about 60-70 goths in Moscow. And of course we all knew each other more or less. And honestly it was like a wonderful brotherhood, a family. The most interesting, special, talanted and crazy people I have ever met. And guess I will love and remember them all my life. The Old Ones.
As one of my younger friends said: “We are the aristocracy of underground”. This statement made all of us laugh. But you know, maybe we really were exactly what he said.
Nowadays, there is really nothing interesting. Just like everywhere. Parties, concerts. Too many people.
Would you consider your lifestyle “black” as well as your clothing?
It was once… There were really dark years in my life, the years I don’t like to recall.
Now, when I’m older, I am in a constant search for the truth and my real self. I’d call my life spiritual and esoteric.
If you are going out for dinner with a gentleman do you wish him to be dressed all in black like you?
He just has to be himself. The man I could find attractive should look like a king whatever he wears. He has to be a king. And one of a kind. *laughs* But of course that would be nice of he looked good in black. And he would definitely look stunning. Be sure.
You seem to have a passion for make up as well, what are your favourite colors?
Yes. It’s Art and magic and the way to create the world anew every day.
Sometimes it takes me back to the 50s or 60s. Sometimes we take a trip to the “new romantic” 80s with bright red eye-shadows and dark blue or red lips.
Sometimes my love for Recoil and the night inspires me to mix deep violet eye-shadows and lipstick with golden glitter. Sometimes it just looks like a normal usual gothic witch.
Anyways it’s always nothing but me.
The Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week which kicked off on Wednesday in New York to provide Spring 2013 collections of over 80 international designers is still going on… Eight days of non stop shows… featuring less and less seasonal dressing (As Washington Post reported) and more pieces that can be bought all year round.
Katie Gallagher Spring 2013
Prabal Gurung Spring 2013
Altazurra Spring 2013
Cushnie et Ochs Spring 2013
Alexander Wang Spring 2013
Helmut Lang Spring 2013
in this days, from the 6th to 13th of September is taking place the New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park featuring new designs for spring 2013.
On friday 7 september the The 29-year-old Jason Wu designer has featured his spring 2013 clothing collection. A collection full of leather, harnesses and lace and black inspirations. Jason Wu said he was inspired by the photographer Helmut Newton and Lillian Bassman. a tension of hard and gentleness in his new collection, were elegance and black play a major role… I would say
leather, lace, harnesses and chiffon for the global brand BCBG Max Azria as well. A collection full of shades of grey white and black, work wear and lingerie mixed together with a refined an minimalistic bondage touch…
Care lettrici e lettori,
in questi giorni, dal 6 al 13 settembre sta avendo luogo la settimana della moda a New York al Lincoln Center´s Damrosch Park.
Cosa propongono di nero le collezioni primavera/estate 2013?
Venerdì 7 settembre, il ventinovenne stilista Jason Wu ha sfilato con una collezione ricca di pelle, bretelle, pizzo e nero. Jason Wu ha dichiarato di essere stato ispirato dalla fotografia di Helmut Newton e Lillian Bassman. Una tensione tra tocchi di forza e, per contrasto di gentilezza nella sua collezione primavera 2013 dunque, dove il nero gioca un ruolo fondamentale…
Pelle, pizzo, bretelle e chiffon anche per il Brand globale BCBG Max Azria. Una collezione ricca di sfumature di grigio, bianco e naturalmente nero. Lingerie e work wear si incontrano con un raffinato tocco di minimalismo e bondage..
photo: Lucas Jackson Reuters
Jason Wu spring 2013
BCBG Max Azria spring 2013
Today I would like to share a striking quote from a russian friend and dark lady about dressing black: “This city definitely forces me to wear black. Even if I’m in the mood for some other color.This world forces me to wear black. No other color makes me feel comfortable with the humans“. “ (Augustine Strindberg)
It is indeed so, at least for me. I feel somehow forced to dress black, no matter how my mood is and what I would like. I can not easily indulge to any other color anymore, the only reasonable alternative I can find, just sometimes, is blood red which clearly fits conceptually and aesthetically to black. This world forced me and forces me to dress black, to a concept of extreme style, sober yet striking elegance, extreme sorrow and extreme power as contradiction. I am contradiction, I am black.
For the occasion, while walking again through the nice streets of Berlin I will show you a new black slightly dark blue Denny Rose sheath dress with darker black corset bones. A “petite robe noir”, like Chanel liked to call it, very classical, modern and always a trend.
I matched the dress with one of my own creations: “pleased to meet you” chain leash choker with black rose, to add a touch of sensual and elegant darkness…
Oggi voglio condividere con voi una frase di grande effetto e sostanza detta da un´amica nonche´ dark lady russa sul vestirsi di nero: “ Questa città mi forza, in modo definitivo, a verstirmi di nero. Anche se sono dell´umore adatto per del colore. Questo mondo mi forza a verstirmi di nero. Nessun altro colore riesce a farmi sentire a mio agio con gli esseri umani“.(Augustine Strindberg)
E´davvero così, quantomeno per me. Mi sento in un qualche modo forzata a vestirmi di nero, indipendentemente dall´umore o dalla mia volontà. Non riesco facilmente a indulgere ad altri colori, l´unica alternativa ragionevole che riesco a trovare, a volte, è il color rosso sangue che corrisponde chiaramente sia concettualmente che esteticamente al nero. Questo mondo mi ha obbligato e mi obbliga a vestirmi di nero, mi forza a credere in un concetto di estremo stile, a una sobria eleganza capace allo stesso tempo di colpire, a un concetto di lutto estremo e potere estremo come contraddizione. Io sono contraddizione. Io sono il nero.
Per l´occasione, camminando come sempre tra le strade di Berlino, oggi vi mostro un tubino nero, a tratti blu scuro di Denny Rose con stecche di bustino in nero più scuro. Una “petite robe noir”, come amava definirlo Chanel, il tubino nero resta sempre di moda, come sincretismo tra classicità e modernità.
Assieme al tubino ho abbinato una delle mie creazioni: la collana di catena con rosa nera “pleased to meet you” che aggiunge un tocco di sensuale ed elegante oscurità.