The luxurious tactility and visual appeal of silk provide a striking contrast with the panic room Nessa, the star of 2014’s The Honourable Woman, sleeps in every night. It is in this room that Nessa’s layers of identity are removed to reveal her fears and secrets.
Few directors have been as prolific in their lifetime as Kenneth Anger. Blending surrealism and the occult with homoeroticism, psychodrama and unashamed spectacle you could perhaps say that Anger’s whole vocation has been an ode to the art of magic. An early follower of Aleister Crowley’s teachings, Anger at various stages in his life mixed with occult practitioners and artists as diverse as Jean Cocteau, Anaïs Nin, Anton LaVey, Mick Jagger and Jack Parsons, and his life is as shrouded in myth and legend as his work is.
The first TV show to feature a transgender protagonist, Transparent’s protagonist Mort, and her transition into becoming Maura, sets into motion a process of self-reflection, dialogue and exchange for the Pfefferman family, who find themselves in the situation of having to reconsider and rebuild their relationships with themselves, with each other and with the rest of the world. Their wardrobes reflect these drastic changes in an organic way: sartorial transitions correspond to the characters’ life transitions.
While initially the difference in ‘UnREAL’ between those dressing for the part – the reality TV show contestants – and those who dress them for the part, the producers, is quite clear, as the series progresses the boundaries become more loose, and the characters’ ethical concerns – or lack thereof – are reflected in their fashion choices.
In 1920, a group of youth leaders walked out of the Boy Scout movement in Britain, disillusioned with the increasing militarism of its methods. Led by the former scout commissioner and artist John Hargrave, the pacifist styled themselves as The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, adapting a term from archaic Cheshire dialect meaning ‘proof of strength.’ This new, all-ages group promoted creative expression, physical health and fitness through camping, hiking and handicraft.
In 1997 choreographer Merce Cunningham invited fashion designer Rei Kawakubo to work with him on a dance piece, the result was ‘Scenario’ which premiered in October of that year at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.
As a platform for performance, the stage lends itself ideally to the pushing of sartorial boundaries to entertain an audience, so its no surprise that most ‘fashion moments’ in have occurred in this medium. From Josephine Baker to David Bowie, fashion and the arts share these seminal and nostalgically symbolic images. Novelty and expression are the most important notions of the stage, to amaze and push boundaries for an audience is only the beginnings of successful entertainment.