I can't describe how inspired I was by last week's visit to the Viktor & Rolf exhibit at the NGV in Melbourne.
One gown in particular struck a huge cord with me, along with this quote the boys had left on the wall at the exit;
"We design clothes that look like they were made by the birds in Cinderella."
I feel like this idea encapsulates everything that is so whimsical and beautiful about fashion - and, in particular, Haute Couture.
These gowns are less about wearability and so much more about the fantasy of a character or mood, lending themselves so beautifully to that sort of suspension of disbelief we adopt when we read our favourite fairy tales. Which is exactly what I'm trying to achieve with this series of work.
Currently working my way through my favourite childhood stories, that quote paired with the stunning ribbon gown from
Viktor & Rolf's 2005 'Flowerbomb' collection really resonated when it came to my next effort - 'Thumbelina.'
It's probably quite clear to everyone how much the story and concept of 'Thumbelina' influences my work - just in my approach to scale, alone!
So, when tackling my illustrated version of this little lady I wanted to bring her into the world of fashion and have her 'mother' be a Parisien dressmaker; one who would create a gown for her from scraps of fabric and off-cuts from the floor.
Of course this particular gown was unbelievably fitting to my idea and as soon as I saw it in the exhibition I knew it was The One.
The mouse is also a nod to one of my childhood heroes, Beatrix Potter. After all, the mice in the building would no doubt help Thumbelina's mother stitch this beautiful gown!
I think this has to be my new favourite of the series <3
See more 'Thumbelina' inspiration below: