|My Night Look in "Self.styled book (page 17)|
You can go to a lot of amazing parties in London. There is so many event happening everyday that you develop the "FomO" "Fear of missing out" syndrome.
dream team: Ciara Monahan making fabulous headwear,s Jessica Holt from Dazzle & Jolt, Mr. Self.Styled and myself wearing a vintage Versace dress from shop the Pattern on Hackney Road! picture by Richard Kaby
But Self.Styled book launch hosted at Vout-O-Reenee's had a particular flavour because of the concentration of fabulous & creative people there. Moreover, these people came together, even if I don't like to put people into categories, the torture garden tribe, the vintage tribe, the festival tribe, the performer tribe all linked by the Self.styled project. In this private gentleman club, a terrorist attack would have blow up half of the London creative scene.
|Kalakala & me sketched by the talented Sue Harding|
It was as if people where becoming alive and escaping from the book; going from the second to the third dimension, art was on the walls, art was on people and in the conversations.
|Alice Edwards, moi, Jessica Holt from Dazzle & Jolt, Mr. Self.Styled and amazing stylist and designer Britt Foe picture by Helena Dornellas|
It wasn't like another exhibition opening or another fashion week party, where people are snobbish, elitist and judgmental, but it felt like a large extended family as Anthony says in his book "without the arguments" .
|This could be a painting from the imagination of Sue Harding but this surrealist scene actually happened at the book launch|
|With the multimedia Post Pop artist Pandemonia|
My show "gender fluidity" was a variation of a previous performance I have done (see the blog page) for my solo show at Isabelle Gounod Gallery in Paris in May 2016.
Because Self-styled is about dressing up I decided to show an interactive performance between dressing and undressing. It is like a strip tease or a burlesque show where only the legs of the barbies are exposed and the body of the performer remains safe playing on this in-between, between unveiling and preservation.
The performance is like a ritual as dressing up for a special occasion is. I entered in my busts-bustiers (made as a mise-en-abyme of barbies's torso) and with my vintage knickers. I couldn't hang the dress to the ceiling like in Paris so I just lying on the floor, becoming an object in itself rather than a garment.
|Helped by my glamourous assistant Florent Bidois|
I added a bit at the beginning from my first performance Before I enter the gallery, Florent Bidois create a path of light barbie torsos like Hop-on-My-Thumn then, I walked toward the dress on the torso, squashing their chest with my super high heels, emphasizing the androgynous aspect of the performance and mistreating feminine ideal beauty.
|the ritual of putting up the skirt @Richard Kaby|
By deconstructing the image of barbie dolls as an icon of the feminine ideal (often considered as an anti-feminism model) On the crinoline is sewn 200 pairs of legs covered by a navy blue or black trousers that the audience can take off in order the reveal the bare legs and the skirts blossoming as a flower. Then, the audience can adorn the feet with pink shoes adding the final colour touch.
Of course I left to the last minute to put back the trousers from the last performance (if one is missing the all surprise effect is ruined) so I had to rush to put them on the 200 legs before the guests arrive!
I had a great response from the audience (see the video). Contrary to Parisian audience, London public is very used to interactive performance and instantly know how to react and wasn't shy about taking of barbies trousers!
For example, Sue Kreitzman had so much strength that, out of excitement she pulled out the whole barbie leg instead of just taking of the trouser!
|"Take off the trousers"|
|Ok..we could have found a nicest box to put the trousers in...|
|barbie dans la peau! no pain no gain!|
|With the talented artist Jaimee Freestone picture by Richard Kaby|
Self.Styled had lot of press all over the world like this article in Grazia! get the book before it is too late!
On the same day, I met Sue Kreitzman at Spitafields market to show her the new pop art colourful neckpiece I made for her. There are handpainted dressed up dino for a party all wearing strass and pearly necklace!