The thought behind the shirt
Elizabeth Fraser is a 19 years old British Fashion student. She lives in London where she studies for a BA (Hons) in Menswear Fashion Design. You can contact Elizabeth Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter @E_lizabethrose
Elizabeth, can you explain the project and the pictures above.
These images are from the research and garment I made for a Shirt Project. We had to design a Shirt and my idea was to do it using the philosophy of the Dadaists. Dadaists were rebellious artists, who at the beginning of the XXth century, all over Europe, questioned the nature of ‘art’. One of the techniques they developed was apparently random collage; cutting and pasting imagery they questioned its and their purpose. German Dada artist Hannah Höch (1889-1978) inspired me as a woman in a men’s world.
In turn I chose to question how men fit into society and how their clothes, here a shirt, may contribute to it. What kind of shapes makes the man? If I made the shoulders bigger does that make them more important? What if I remove the collar and place it somewhere else… Experimenting with what makes a shirt a shirt also helped me to learn how to construct it.
What creative work inspires you?
The black and white photos of Couture gowns from the late 1940’s and 1950s really fascinate me, in particular Richard Avedon’s photography of model Dovima (His 1955 pictures of Dovima with elephants are iconic). He captures Beauty like no other and the life style portrayed, the women wearing these Balenciaga, Dior etc. gowns, are elegantly timeless.
What film made an impression with you recently?
Coco Before Chanel is a favourite. For an hour or so it allowed me to pretend I’m French. I love the way Chanel is portrayed in the film.
Your favourite Video?
Devendra Banhart in The Rainbow House by Lisa Eisner. It is the director’s cut of a campaign Lisa Eisner shot for eyewear company Oliver. It is also an homage to French New Wave classics like Godard’s Une Femme Mariée. Beautiful people in a beautiful place, taking life as it comes and enjoying each other … so relaxing!
What is hot and new in the world for you?
The mix of nationalities in London is definitely something new for me! Being surrounded by and interacting with so many people who have experiences of different countries is so interesting and exciting! Nowadays London is so fast paced, it’s incredibly cool!
Briefly explain what Fashion means to you?
Fashion is many things. It brings together the skills of farmers, weavers, colourists, tailors and designers to make clothes that protect us and keep us warm. These clothes can capture a moment in time and exude a slice of culture, enhance our personality, underline our likes and dislikes, bring out who we are while we have to say or do little else.
Sadly the Fashion Industry screams judgement and perfection when I believe Fashion should be about experimentation and creativity.
How do you imagine your future?
I’d like to work alongside a designer after my studies: I need to experience the quick turnaround of seasons in the industry and how designers cope with this. Eventually I’d like to create my own collections.
I have many interests I’d like to pursue; but I know that if I focus now, my hard work will pay off. At some point I would also like to complete a Masters, something with business involved.
Karl Lagerfeld has had many moments when he has acted inappropriately towards other celebrities about the way they look. The fashion industry is perceived as quite intimidating and cut throat. Despite Karl being extremely creative do you not think that the industry should deal with this differently? Many fashionisters believe it is a trait to be bitchy but do you think this is truly acceptable?
What do you think? Why not tell us in the comment section below.