I was recently asked where I get my ideas from and what I'm most inspired by, and I found it nearly impossible to answer! The simple answer is EVERYTHING! But I find being inspired means more about making connections with different things and creating a story that is so rich and intricate, that it's almost alive in my mind.
So, as an example of how my magpie mind works; I was completley blown away by the dress Gareth Pugh designed for stylist, Katie Shillingford, which was on display at the V & A wedding dress exhibition. The image of that dress haunted me, and then a few months later I unpacked my Nan's wedding dress, a heavy satin Ivory crepe from the 1940's. The Gareth Pugh dress was like a modern echo of the 40's one and I began thinking about a forties bride but done in more of a Bladerunner style.
I re- read Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca (one of my favourite books ever!), then started looking at femme fatale's which led me, eventually to Medusa, the ultimate femme fatale.
I love the silhouette of the new Mrs De Winter in this still from the film Rebecca, and the idea of bridesmaids in black like the terrifyingly unhinged Ms Danvers!
The colours on my moodboard are mauves and greyish silver, Ivory and very old, burnished gold. Old lockets inspire motifs and the Medusa head inspires embellishment ideas.
Vintage dress shapes and Hollywood stars of the time, like Hedy Lamarr and Vivien Leigh make me think of glamour, but not soft and warm. Rather a fiercer glamour with a harder more assertive edge.
The incredibly over the top mophead Hydrangea carries all the tones of the Gothic Forties theme, here shown dried and fragile. But I also can't resist a lilac rose, or dozens and dozens of them, sending out their musky scent to add romance and bewitch all around.
And all of this is, ofcourse, soundtracked by the ever inspiring Siouxie and The Banshees.
The Gothic forties concept has inspired so many ideas and even though I'm about to move on to my next 'story', I love this one so much, that I'm sure I will return to it in years to come, much as the opening lines of Rebecca return the new Mrs De Winter to Manderlay.
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