Rebel Palace

Monday, March 29, 2010

Photography: Nicole Abram
Branch/Floral Corset: Rebel Palace
Model: Sydney Abram

- I constructed this corset by candle light during Earth Hour from branches, organic silk ribbon and hawaiin flowers-

Despite sudden climate restrictions, that resulted in my project being changed from the filming of an outdoor fashion show to an indoor studio photoshoot, the final work, a documentation of my hand crafted, eco friendly corset in a Fashion context, continues to reflect my initial artist’s statement that declares Fashion as a form of collaborative Visual Arts.
Looking at the constructed corset, made from natural resources such as branches, twigs, organic silk ribbon and floral/leaf d├ęcor, in this day and age one sees a garment that lacks in practicality while maintaining an abundance of creative arrangement. However, during the earliest existence of civilization, the use of such disposable, temporary, and even uncomfortable natural resources were some of the primary, if not only sources of material for the production of functional clothing design. In “Objects in the Mirror…Reflections on the Changing Contexts of Performance Art”, Christopher Eamon describes performance art as “temporal and ephemeral…the context and overall experience will always be different at a different point in time”. I think the same can be said about Fashion styles and materials where changes are relevant to the time period in which ideas about Fashion, fabrics, purposes etc. apply to the context of which they belong. While many years ago, natural fibres were used because of availability and convenience, they are now primarily used to expose the loss of organic resources and the over consumption and production of unnatural materials. Currently our western society is slowly returning back to its natural roots and referring to ecologically conscious goods and services including food, transportation, sources of energy and clothing. These days the entirely eco-friendly corset would appear as a lovely costume piece or activist statement promoting the use of natural resources, while years ago it could have fulfilled practical uses as lingerie or body armor.
Some other contributing art practices are apparent in my final project that work to demonstrate the collaborative performance of Fashion as a Visual Art. My photographer uses lighting techniques and approaches to the photographic arts to compose images displayed throughout the short film. A small stationary video camera is utilized to record and produce a motion picture documenting different segments of the shoot to later be edited into a short film. Modeling is not an occupation I generally practice, so my performance was a representation of how I thought a model might pose, and behave. With my experiences with models during fashion shows and photoshoots, I was exploring the Fine Art realms of Drama by theatrically acting like a model. Thus the collaboration of photography, film, and theatre contributed to the eventual piece of work derived from a one of a kind Fashion garment.
Although Fashion may have held different purposes in the past, and may potentially hold different meanings in the future, it is certain that Fashion is indicative of several important factors including person, place and time. With that being said, at this time, Fashion is reflective of the expression and application of current creative skill with the guidance of a number of Fine Arts practices.

MYSELF: Conceptualizing an EcoFriendly Fashion Show


Fashion can be defined as a popular trend, style of dress or manner of behaviour. Throughout history, fashion trends have developed in regards to the times of which they apply to represent and embody particular historical instances. Different styles of dress can be indicative of geographical region, class, religion, culture and behaviour. One’s appearance is generally reflective of the way in which one would like to express oneself visibly. For me, what I choose to wear (clothing, make up, hairstyling) is as much an art as what I draw, paint, photograph or collage. It is the construction and styling of articles of clothing, accessories, etc. with degrees of attention to aesthetic qualities that demonstrate composition and colour to reflect self-expression and the application of human creative skill that categorizes this form of visual artistry. Art can be interpreted as works that have been produced with skill and imagination, while current fashion is typically manufactured skillfully by those predicting, and imagining requirements and aspirations of future fashions. Fashion is a collaborative art that demands and consists of designers, the artists that formulate and outline potential styles, the producers who construct the garments, the stylists who compose and arrange the ways in which the pieces will be showcased for the photographer who captures the concept with the help of models, who act by fulfilling the desired role of the subject, and hairstylists/makeup artists for magazine publications to advertise in order to appeal to and be consumed by the general public. I will focus mainly on captivating one-of-a-kind designs that lack practicality while maintaining an abundance of creativity by producing accessories. I will also explore the specific realms of art practices in Fashion such as designing, constructing, styling, modeling and photography, by documenting these collaborative components with the intention of proving that Fashion is not merely a method of dress, but a form of Visual Art.

Miranda Priestly: [Miranda and some assistants are deciding between two similar belts for an outfit. Andy sniggers because she thinks they look exactly the same] Something funny?
Andy Sachs: No, no, nothing. Y'know, it's just that both those belts look exactly the same to me. Y'know, I'm still learning about all this stuff.
Miranda Priestly: This... 'stuff'? Oh... ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'd like to formally promote the incredibly talented, Toronto based artist, collector, and jewelry designer of Petalwear, whom I have the pleasure of calling my dear friend, Mary-Theresa Lawlor.

Petalwear recently made an appearance at New York Fashion Week, this week at The Standard Hotel in Manhattan. I could not be more excited for her entirely deserved success!

Visit for more information!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I yet again had the pleasure of collaborating with the extremely creative & eccentric Art Director/Model Brian Jensen on a photoshoot that required some of my one of a kind jewelry from Rebel Palace!!

Brian Jensen is constantly developing outrageous stories and ideas performed by the collaboration of artistic makeup and hairstyling teams, expert photographers and cutting edge fashion creations!

The project required a new costume piece: over-the-top shoulder decor constructed with faux fur, flat & cone silver studs, lace trim, gold, silver and bronze chain, white bows and semi precious gem stones. And an older piece, from Alternative Fashion Week 2009, a multi-length chain top!

Here's some behind the scenes footage of my design process and the photoshoot itself! Enjoy!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Model: Jessica Leigh Smith

- My very first attempt at constructing garments out of photographs -
I first found publicly accessible images online of dresses, corsets, shoes etc. and worked with them in photoshop to divide the pieces into multiple sections. I then enhanced and enlarged each individual image to my liking and printed them digitally. I pieced the sections back together like a puzzle! Using the medium of photography I produced impractical, although fashionable and stylized outfits! More to come!