“My starting point was a black cape that looked a lot like a clerical vest, it had no prints or embellishments on it. This led me to research painters like Zurbarán and Vanitas with a really rich black background.
Drawing did not really do the job for me in this project because whenever I started a design it became too adorned and decorated. Shape was what I wanted to focus on. So I went to work on the stand and used cardboard instead of fabric or paper to force myself to create a dramatic and sculptural silhouette. After that, I had many fittings on my model as I did not use any blocks as a base/guideline but draped everything on the stand.
I based my research on his technically innovative solutions to tailoring, and the inspiration he drew from Catholicism. Coming from a Catholic background myself, I decided to use his general fascination for the rituals of Catholicism and give my personal point of view. I looked at some of his favourite painters (Zurbarán for example) and decided to compare & contrast them with contemporary artists like Hermann Nitsch, that deal with religion in a more critical sense.
There were two pieces that drew my attention specifically. First, a tailored Jacket. Its shape was created through a belt that was attached to the inside of the Jacket and forced it to sit and move a certain way when worn, rather than the seams and cutting on the outside. This tailoring from both the inside and the outside of the garment was pretty mind-blowing for me and I used the same technique in my Jacket later on.
The second piece was a dress or a skirt underneath a Tunic dress. It was not cut but folded to avoid any loss of the precious material. I used this idea to create the dress worn underneath my Jacket. The whole length of heavy silk/viscose crepe was folded to create a triangle that was held together by two seams. All that was added to make it a dress was two shoulder straps, one hook and three pop buttons in the back! I was fascinated by his most minimal looks and how much he considered the woman, the wearer for his creations. He freed women physically in a time where Dior brought back the corset.”