dimanche 30 août 2015

Lobster dress

I met the amazing performer Rachel  May Snider and she gave me the dream dress project.  
-"I know it is going to sounds weird but at the end of my show I am turning into a giant lobster, could you make a lobster dress?" 
-Of course I can make a lobster dress! 


I actually already made a lobster dress, (see the article here) .  I had theses lobster claw  from a meal in Brittany last year  and when my Mum wanted to throw them away I beg her to keep them (as I keep everything); After putting them in the bleach for a very long time I gold sprayed them and turned them into a dress.  
I was interested into incorporating some natural organic elements into one of my creations.  

I was inspired by the Alexander Mac Queen  exhibition Savage Beauty  at the V&A and his fascinating alchemy between futurism and primary beauty, like the Victorian Gothic, which combines elements of horror and romance.  
Alexander McQueen frequently returned to the theme of primitivism, which drew upon the fantasy of the noble savage living in harmony with the natural world, using raw material 
like  horse hair to make skirts, crocodile heads to adorn shoulders, leather to sheathe the body and feathers to catch the light.

The idea, like with the Fox costume  (see article here) wasn't to create a anthropomorphic costume of a giant animal  but to make a dress that refers to the lobster. my idea has to create a very glamourous base inspired by film Noir genre and 50's hollywood and add the structure of the lobster at the front like Tatty Devine necklace.  

The lobster symbolise women sexuality, like in Dali's lobster telephone. This surrealist object, made from the conjunction of items not normally associated with each other, create something both playful and menacing. Dalí believed that such objects could reveal the secret desires of the unconscious. But also vulnerability as the lobster shed their skin four times in his life, during this  transition time he is like naked and have to hide himself from predators.  

The lobster dress at Seven Sister Cliff By Anthony Lycett 
The lobster actually wears it skeleton upside down as his shell protect his soft body, so in the dress, the lobster was himself the skeleton,  the legs creating the shape of the rib cage.
 The lobster dress at Seven Sister Cliff By Anthony Lycett 
"Dressing for Breakfast" As the title say itself, the piece is about the art of dressing, not dressing up but getting dressed for any occasion, even to have your breakfast or go shopping at Tesco. 
The character says how clothes are like armours, because people notice you without seeing you so we can feel protected, 
Dressing for Breakfast 
I  can relate to Rachel character who is a proper dresser, she can't go out without choosing the perfect outfit from head to toes. Paradoxically enough, standing out by dressing flamboyant allow you to hide behind your clothes. You don't create another persona but you control the image you give to the others.  You give so much to them to read by bombarding them with vibrant colours that you can hide your true self behind your armours.  
In her show, Rachel came out with this surrealist and  brilliant idea that it will be simpler to have a life size cardboard doll, changing very easily with a cardboard for every occasion, like the vintage diving suit when you walk in the street and you meet someone you don't want to talk too.  

"A daughter discovers a shoe box filled with her mother's treasured cardboard doll and her array of historical cut out costumes...

In Dressing for Breakfast, Joan of Arc,  A Deep Sea Explorer, and Marie Antoinette are brought to life by performer Rachel Snider and costume designer Petra Storrs in an autobiographical piece exploring historical fantasies, the dance of lobsters and contemporary dressing rituals."

The lobster dress at Seven Sister Cliff By Anthony Lycett 

With my sketches, now it is time to make the vision happen!
I was lucky to have part of the process filmed by Sept à Huit for TF1 in the frame of a documentary on French people in London. You can see the documentary here

For the pattern I copied the anatomical  illustration  of the lobster.   

For the actual dress I didn't use any real lobster (didn't want the fishy smell during the show!).  The lobster structure is made out of foam.  Imagine the face of the sale man at the rubber & foam store  when I said to him I am going to use it for a lobster dress! 

I carved the shape of each part of the lobster body  into the foam.  
I covered the foam with red sequins fabric (using the same technique than for my heart dress) to give it a cabaret, showy and glamour look standing out from the black of the dress (this is not a colour palette I am usually using!) 

The dress took me two months to make, I started with the bustier, then I made the crinoline, they are like a big shell at the side covered by hand stitched pearls, crystals and white sequins like splinters of shell between Chanel and Pearly Queen inspirations.  Just one side of embroidery for the pearls and shell took an entire week!

The lobster dress at Seven Sister Cliff By Anthony Lycett 
In this video realised by Helen Jeunet, you can see me working on the lobster dress, stitching the sequin one by one! 

lundi 17 août 2015

Alien & non identified costumes

By Anthony Lycett 

Space invaders are back!
 Alien outfit with a jacket  originally created for the Bingo at Bar 90 made out with a bunch of tinsel wigs generously   given by my  and fabulous performer friend Yve BlakeLot of people also give stuff they don't want anymore to me "You who are creative, maybe you can do something with that" . For them it is a relief, for me a bless! 

by Anthony Lycett 
 She also gave me the eyeballs and I am wearing my Las Vegas Bingo necklace.  I worn this look for a Alien theme party @TheBox in Soho!

Frida Kahlo inspired bracelet available on my online shop, picture by Anthony Lycett 

With the designer Florent Bidois at Hackney Bingo Club at the Bar 90

By Anthony Lycett
Originally made for Butchers hair dressing salon on Hackney Road, using colourful long syntactical wigs for a more unicorn style. I thought it was nice to have a picture in location.
By Anthony Lycett 

With Anthony Lycett we found this beautiful wheat field in the Country side of Coventry  that become gold with the the sunset light. With my dress and my little pony head piece,  I become a mystical  hairy goddess of the harvest.

One of my last and exiting commission a golden frog wedding hat, witty and classy, very English style, I guess its owner will stole the spotlight from the bride!
By Anthony Lycett 

Japanese inspired shoot using my Moshi monster kimono styled by Naddy Sane and photographed by Meike Linthorst. I  love this experimental project, between art, photography, dance, fashion and performance! 

Last but not least, a new interview on Designers we like magazine see the full article here

mardi 11 août 2015

Columbia Road

Meihui Lui  is another of Sue Kreitzman's tribe she is the designer of  the Victim fashion street Ethical label, and the creative soul of East London.  

 She has a shop on Columbia Road famous for its beautiful Sunday Flower market and its colourful doors.  I was very honoured when she offered me the window for 10 days in the frame of a Secret Rendez-vous Pop up Tea".  

We organised a tea party with organic scones,  and a costume base installation performance.  

"Tight your piece of fabric to the colourful nuclear rings and create a unique interactive wearable art installation following your wishes and your creative instinct" 

I find this flexible telescopic magic balls toys that we all know from out childhood in Bricklane Sunday Market and bought 30 of them for £30. The shape and the colour inspired me to create a big crinoline dress.  

shoes by Natacha Marro 
I find the kinetic movement of getting smaller and bigger a very interesting interactive performant in order to create an evolutive garment.  The children, particularly enjoyed playing with the bubbles created by the movement of the toys. 

 But where I thought the more interesting part of the performance would be the movement it was actually the transformation from a very graphic and futuristic shape to a more organic structure created by the accumulation of the colourful printed fabric.  It was a very interesting collaboration combining Meihui's obsession for European vintage fabric and her expertise in reconstructing salvaged garments and antique trimmings with my conception of playful design.  

In the window I exhibited two of my dresses, my moshi monster kimono and 50 shades of pink with my jewellery and one of my piece of art

The last judgement
This is a clock without dial that I found near a bin, 
I replaced the missing  clock dial by a baby doll face that I painted and adorned with hand-stitched beads.  
On this kitsch rococo style clock, all the heads of golden figurines have been chopped so I replaced them by mermaids and fairies one.  

In heaven, time has stopped on tea time and  Ursuala/shiva is the goddess of ice-cream.  
The Death is welcoming the dead with her two Shrek bodyguards among the pantheon of Disney celebrities  covered in glitters dancing on the "Dance Macabre" of Camille Saint Saëns for a psychedelic Sabbath.  

Rainbow of colourful creative lady, the power of sisterhood, thanks you so much for making it to the event! 

Originally, I made this dress for a bigger scale photographic project with Anthony Lycett. The idea was to create a 80's summery sporty-colour bloc-neon- fluo-graphic look in a Californian aesthetic but transplanted to the English landscape. 
Nuclear magic balls  dress at Chesil Beach by Anthony Lycett 
We chose Chesil beach in Dorset  for its History  -used as an experimental nuclear bombing range by the RAF before and during World War II- (because the dress has this nuclear structure)  and it is not sand beach but typical British cobbled beach. 
picture by Anthony Lycett, shoes by Natacha Marro 

Because it is hard to find a scorching sunny day in the UK like in the US west coast,  we had to jump in the car at the first occasion.   
Another tea party at Meihui Lui Studio, wearing my little pony burger & necklace, having fun with her cute daughter Freya.  

The week after, it was Sue  Kreitzman's turn to create a window. She  presented her joyous wardrobe, both garments and jewellery at Meihui’s popup shop on Columbia Road.

Sue talked about being an artist, a collector, and an art fashionista. She lives surrounded by art, her own and that created by beloved friends. When she leaves her home, she can’t bear to leave art behind, so she wraps herself in it. Each morning she does not get dressed; she curates herself, and emerges into the world as a walking collage, a perambulating gallery of glorious colour and spectacle. A flamboyant character, in age somewhere between her mid seventies and eternity, she spreads her message of colour and art wherever she goes.

Sue asks that you remember two things:
Life is art, and art is life.
Don’t wear beige, it might kill you!

We also improvised a street cat walk with Diane's Goldie gorgeous colourful Kimonos she made especially for Sue.  No limits of age of size…no fashion rules! 

With the artist Alice Tiger wearing Diane Goldie Kimonos

At her Secret Rendez vous, I showed Sue Kreitzman the new bespoke necklace I made for her, a tribal ethnic Indian necklace.  

picture by Anthony Lycett 
I find this Indian birds made with straw covered with fabric at Bricklane Sunday market .   I made this plastron collar with tinsels and adorned the birds with hand-stitched beads.  
With my new flatmate Elaine, talented designer & illustrator, so luck to share my place with very creative person that doesn't mind if I live glitters everywhere! 
I was wearing a little car dress that I called "traffic jam" inspired by my experience of traffic in London 
picture by Anthony Lycett 
I started using little car early in my work (see one of the first article on my blog) but only making necklace, then a parking jumper. Having these all bunch of little car frenetically sourced in charity shop for several years, I decided to do something with them. I have period, like Picasso have the blue period, I have the lego period, the car period, the barbie period, then I get sick of it and I come back to it few years latter.  
At the exhibition opening of Hoxton gallery with the fashion designer Florent Bidois, also from Brittany! 

2010 =>2015 from the necklace to the whole dress, creativity is like a muscle you need to train, Ideas grow, they feed each other, they multiplies and create arborescence in your brain… play with fashion literally...

Just before leaving from Brittany, I met Sue Kreitzman at Spitafields market as she wanted to give us some updates about the book she is writing, all exiting news! I gave her a Frida Kahlo brooch as a good bye present before she left for New York.

With the amazing artist and designer Scorpio a bit "underdressed" on this picture.  

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