Friday, 27 February 2009

"I'm Saving the Dogs"...EMMA BELL AW09

oooh where to start.....where to start....
So, this week saw me unveil my brand new collection for AW09 titled "I'm Saving the Dogs".....
As I'm sure you can imagine the past couple of weeks have been absolute mayhem and there is many a tale to tell....from me almost taking out half of Kingsland Road with a ball of wool and my favourite my eyes turning grey....tra la la....
but I'm going to start with letting you in on the concept behind my new collection......
"Following a magical adventure around South East Asia Emma Bell came back with a backpack bursting with
painted folk masks, local handicraft skills under her belt and a tattered copy of Lord Tennyson’s poems.
Emma’s AW09 collection sees a plethora of inspirations deriving from the Medieval realms of Camelot,
the romantic tragedy of Ophelia, the utilitarian value of Chinese communist military wear, and the brutal
realisation of cruelty to dogs in East Asian cultures.
AW09 uses block printing and bold knitwear pattern formation influenced by traditional batik techniques.
Woollen embroidery embellishment, hand painted fabrics of illustrated, urinating canines, freehand quilting
and pixellated intarsia. Using a colour palette of brights, neon pastels and her signature metallics.
Constructions of Perspex shapes, printed jerseys and quilted PVC’s."

So there you go.....!
It has been amazing being able to learn new techniques and I have really enjoyed creating this new collection with all of my heart!
My recent trips to Asia over the past year have really inspired my work...and i really wanted to express a more in depth insight in my personal values on such issues. During a trip to China last year I witnessed in the space of one day seeing about 15 dogs crammed into one cage in one of the most traumatic markets I have ever visited in my life....(but to get to the sparkly buttons I had to plough through it...) later that day I saw a dog killed by bashing it's head against a wall in the street...and the pinnacle of the day saw me sitting at the same table as a girl tucking into a banquet of dog....this all got me thinking having been a vegetarian for ethical reasons for 20 years...and my thoughts were re-affirmed on this during my most recent trip to Asia. Whilst I appreciate that poverty in such countries leaves little option to what they whack in a the same time animal cruelty is something that I can never endorse.
I paid homage to the dogs in the form of beautiful headpieces constructed by the amazing Finch as well as incredible acrobatic pissing dogs painted into the fabric.
Another inspiration derived from the utilitarian value of Communist military clothing in China. People buy ex military garments opposed to new as a result of the local economy and also because the clothes are well made and durable. This idea pushed me to look at shape and silhouette and allowed elements such as conical outlines and broad rounded shoulders to seep into the collection. Epaulets in the form of beautiful hand painted Vietnamese masks collected on my adventures and mimicked in my signature quited PVC's.
Tennyson remains one of my all time poets ever since reading the tragedy that is the "Lady of Shallot"...I wanted to incorporate a whimsical and romantic twist into my new collection which was translated into the wool embroidered florals, tiny hearts sequined into garments and the robust blanket stitched yarns.
So....I hope that my bit of spiel there gives you a bit of an insight into the ideas behind my collection for AW09.....................
Love and "I am kinda scared of dogs...but lets not be mean to them",

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