In 2012 Ralph Lauren showed his Fall/Winter collection. Downton Abbey had inspired a sense of yearning for the idealistic English country manor lifestyle and The Great Gatsby was about to be released. It was the first time that I had really become excited about fashion away from my Gothic roots. Fashion is a way to bring the dream of who we truly wish to be into everyday existence and I had always loved the sense of escapism and imagination which comes with adornment and display. In my twenties the allure, glamour and at times constriction of Victorian fashion was fascinating. I wanted to touch those times that had slipped away and collected mourning jewelry to heighten the sense of connection to the people who had lived in garments such as those I now donned.
I've always been a romantic at heart and as I grew emotionally so too did my ideas about how I wanted to express myself through fashion. Ralph Lauren's 2012 collection was the catalyst to the development of a new and I hoped more sophisticated version of my outward self. In my mid thirties I am still in love with that era where corsets gave way to a more comfortable and emancipated style of dress.
The altered Ralph Lauren Fair Isle vest below is my interpretation of the typical Fair Isle vest. I've stitched silk flowers with beaded embellishments onto the garment as flowers have become very important symbolic aids in my art practice. In my altered garments silk flowers speak of precious moments experienced and kept close while we are trying to navigate our way through the trials of life. They speak of moments which we hang onto and hope will never fade.