A LOT MORE ABOUT THE COLLECTION
"Launch Party". The words from The Rodrigo Lounge's owner Sammy rang in my ears. I'd been stocking my products in her shop for at least a month now, bringing in new stuff every other week. If I was going to have a launch party, I was going to have an amazing one.
Not making it easy task on myself and just have a party celebrating what was already in store, I decided instead I wanted to have a fashion show. Because why the fuck not? Unfortunately the store didn't have the layout I wanted in my head, so; adding more work onto my plate, I decided the next best course of action was to film it and then screen it at the party.
I started working on everything that would bring an entire catwalk and fashion show together, late nights, no sleep nights, endless cups of tea. I set myself the challenge of using only the supplies I had on hand after Covid; as my budget just didn't allow for many new supplies. Some of the pieces I built throughout the year of 2020 whilst we were all in lockdown, and some I built exclusively for the collection.
I had a lot of soft tartans and plaids over from making masks for Covid; which when combined with costume elements I was building; built a really striking collection. I kept my signature colours of red and black for this collection, and fed through a spray painted skull design motif throughout the outfits. My signature sacred heart motif and heart shaped accessories are also seen through the collection.
I was nervous about introducing the element of "upcycling" clothing into any of pieces, but as I kept working through, I realised that this was an important part of not only fashion, but a crucial element of the DIY punk attitude. I'd always thought I was in some way 'cheating' if I didn't make it from scratch; but now I realise I'm paving that piece's new story. I'm adding to it's character until it's nothing like the original piece. And I find a lot of beauty in that. I like wearing stories.
The models I chose were people who truly embodied the spirit of integrity and beauty to me. People who had seen some shit. I wanted that attitude to shine through on the catwalk. I couldn't have asked for a more fun group for this collection. On the night of the filming, we had a fantastic evening of laughs, fashion and fun. I took a few of my models out of their comfort zones, which is something I love to do as it promotes growth.
Immediately after the first launch photos were released, I was praised on the diversity of models. To me, this isn't even a conversation piece.
Size representation has always been a huge part of my life's narrative. I will always choose my models going beyond the physical, it's the character of a person who sings to me. The song I chose for the catwalk video "Made to Measure" by one of my lifelong favourite bands My Ruin reflects that: "Not made to measure, baby / one size does not fit all", "You don't need to be sorry, you don't need to be saved / You just need to be proud of the body that God gave". I will continue to promote celebrating all bodies until this conversation is no longer needed.
I was lucky enough that my dear, dear friend Sealegs of Sealegs Makeup and Hair was willing to help me on this wild passion project. Getting to work alongside her again gave me such joy. Getting to work alongside her on my own stuff was even more humbling. Our plans for the next collection are even bigger and better - and already in the works! A very different collection to RUINED+RECYCLED.
I am so excited to be able to share my art with the world everyday. There is nothing that brings me greater joy than to be able to beautify my part of our world. I'm looking forward to creating future collections and sharing the different facets of my heart through my wearable art.