Thursday, 25 May 2017

Top 5: ECA Performance Costume Show 2017

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It's the most wonderful of the year (after Christmas)- degree show time!
Whether we are attending the fashion design shows or popping along to art school exhibitions. It's a great source of style inspiration and a heads up of emerging designers. Helen has already shared her top 5 Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art and Design 2017 pieces earlier this week. I'd hoped to avoid reading it until I pop in to see it for myself this weekend, but it's actually made me more excited to check out the exhibitors.

The Costume Show by Edinburgh College of Art is always the top of my degree show list- usually featuring very well constructed, colourful and imaginative garments. (Just look at those sparkles from ECA Costume Design 2015!) Also, the performance of the pieces is much more exciting than a regular catwalk show. This year there are a lot of brilliant things, but I've whittled it down to my top 5:

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1.) Ellie Finch | The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and Bambi
I don't know how how anyone could not be wowed by these pieces. On first glance, the dance and ultra vibrant hispanic print of Maid Marion's dress distracts you from how clever this re-imagining of the Robin Hood story as a Mexican drug cartel is, with narcotics paraphernalia cleverly combined into the accessories in a style that mixes the traditional with modern. Her second piece, introducing Bambi as a Syrian refugee, is a stark contrast with its muted colour palette, childlike colouring book imagery and repeated motifs of charity.

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2.) Isobel Keeyes | Slade House
The narrative of these pieces is one I'm not familiar with but aesthetically this collection was on point. The structure is very neat, and very wearable pieces in muted colours keep the look the right side of fanciful. It is a very confident set that could be in the fashion section. I want the jacket, and the lace dress please. Oh, and the cape...

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3.) Auguste Greiciute | Spirits
I'm always drawn towards the pretty, feminine costumes but that's a little unfair when there were a lot of fun-but-ugly items on show. This bizarre character, Vision, is supposed to embody a childhood spirit that the adults of the story re-connect with. The colour combo is some good style inspo and I really like the textures and prints going on. It made me sit up and take notice.


4.) Louise Frame | A Midsummer Night's Dream
To be honest, this wins points purely for being my all time favourite play for costumes. I've seen it countless times and love the way the fairies are reinterpreted. This Victorian take is an excellent version. The hapless Bottom had an appropriately jaunty, colourful outfit and I liked the way his donkey head was created in outline, and was mirrored in the fairy Queen Titania's shoulders (wings?) so that it was an extension of her. The dark dashes in the print of her simple dress give a hint of a darker undercurrent.


5.) Abigail King | Beauty and the Beast
Ombre dip-dye was a bit of a theme and I think Helen would disown me if I didn't include this one because it has hand details. This certainly isn't the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast- it follows the violent version where the abusive Beast is killed by innocent, submissive Beauty. The dress is a sexy, ethereal take with subtle nods to eroticism. I sort of wanted more oomph in the embroidered details but the Gothic silhouette and textiles work well on the lighter palette to give a soft feminine overlay. A really restrained and accomplished piece of work!


I wish I could share all the designs because they are fab! (So we've also got a full photo set of degree show goodness over on our Facebook page. Don't say we're not good to you).

A brilliant part of these degree shows is the inclusion of the lower year projects. The theme is often the same from year to year, as with James and the Giant Peach, but seeing how a whole cohort of students has interpreted the brief is always impressive and it's fun to see the characters interact with eachother. For these I tend to like the larger constructions (like that entire rhino puppet) but I fell in love with the 3rd year project- a gold period theme that feels like pure decadence. The construction is so good! I did not appreciate that creepy doll face bag though (below). Helen and I immediately turned to each other and gasped "THAT BAG!"- me in fear and her in delight. She's a creep.


We will be covering the fashion show tomorrow so you can keep up-to-date on our Instagram stories, and over on Facebook.

If you haven't been able to make it to any of the live shows, you can still see this year's work up close and personal at the ECA Degree Show 2017 from 3-11th June. Meet the young designers, check out the talent and maybe even buy a wee souvenir from the art collections. Yay!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome photos! Looks like an amazing event, keep up the posts. Love checking out your blog.
    Kim

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