Virgin Innuendo was my first couture project that I had do create within five weeks during the winter break from design to the actual look at Fashion Design Studio, Ultimo TAFE Sydney in 2016.
About the concept:
My design concept came from the Weimer cabaret period, which was a highly vibrant new era that appeared in the late 1920s in Germany. It was about the new forms of expression and hedonism with provocative gay singers, prostitutes, dancers and comedians on a small stage in nightclubs and restaurants after the fist world war. The socialist believed it was an evidence of weak government, resulting in moral decay and corruption. Berlin became the capital city of cabaret with stories, jokes, songs, while dancers were laced with sexual innuendo. This era gave way to nudity and topless dancers that were patronised by lesbians, gay men and transvestites giving a scene to sexuality and political parodies. After couple of days of researching, I find that the mood and colours at the time were dark, nothing glorious, happy and vibrant. I choose black, navy and silver as it was also seen on the dancers’ dresses and because it perfectly reflects the mood of the time. The costumes were highly decorated with beads, diamonds, sequins, frays, feathers with detailed embroidery, however the dresses were short or provocatively opened at the boobs. Cabarets brought a new intimacy and informal spirit to public performance costumes where the dress itself already told a story of the person. Inspired by this intimacy, I designed a provocative picture that gives a sense of mood of the era where the woman legs create a sexual picture on the back of the cape. The shapes of the Virgin Innuendo look came from the mixture of menswear and couture elements. The collar and cape was inspirited by tailored menswear, however the corset dress is highly influenced by comedians’ dresses from the period. By dividing the corset with panel lines, I wanted to feature the character of the person. The luxurious textures have been created with beads, sequins, lace, embroidery elements to give it a high quality couture feel especially at the bottom with feathers that creates a nice flow when the person walks on the stage. The techniques were contemporary fashion forward which helped to create a special occasion look for the brief.