Autumn/Winter 2019

‘a high place of sacrifice’

While researching corsets from the 18th and 17th centuries, I found myself looking through some incredible auction sites and I started getting distracted by the incredible draping in the pieces. One rabbit hole led to another, and I became consumed by the royal portraiture of that period. Looking at the work of Anthony van Dyck and Adriaen Hanneman, I tried to imagine the process - what's the first meeting like? How do they decide the setting, the tone? I thought that it must be similar to when a client walks into our atelier. How does she want to look? When a woman walks into our space I look at her and I feel like it's my job to see her, to paint her in the best possible light. The work of Hanneman resonated with me, I loved his informal compositions and his passion for bringing out the individuality of the sitter.

Interpreting the decadence, the draping, the volumes that we extracted from these 17th century portraits was an adventure. Through drapes, endless experiments, and a handful of happy mistakes led us to create the voluminous silk taffeta sleeve. We combined this historic sleeve with sharp, modern tailoring. A tuxedo mini dress in black grosgrain with contrasting cream sleeves. Also, for the first time, we introduced knits - riibbed 100% silk turtlenecks. Creativity feeds on limitations and in this case my pregnancy and lack of a waist meant I had to find ways of being fashionable, but not at the expense of comfort.

There is only one way to make these decadent visions come to life; work. Dream destinations torn apart by the reality of our unforgiving fashion schedule. Thoughts on the rituals of sacrifice running parallel with our dedication to making our ideas a reality. Workwear, literally. I was thinking about the price of couture: the hours, the effort, so much love. We printed out images of landscapes, soaked them in water and tore them apart. Deconstructed digital landscapes climbing over the pinstripe tailored trousers. An antique photograph of Petra on a mini skirt suit; once again, the seeds of inspiration were found in our homeland. With tailoring in mind, we explored materials and fabrics based on workwear: from classic blue denim, khaki gabardine, and dark pinstripes to intertwine our contrasting narrative of decadence and labour.