The real name of FW2014 is "The Terpsichoria," a reference to a ship, but everyone on the team just calls it "The Scar." It is a love letter - my first, and, I can promise, not my last - to China Miéville: white-hot thinker, dark star, rock god to us sci-fi nerds. The Scar is the title of Miéville's 2003 masterpiece of fiction, a book that blew my face off the first time through. It is a bizarre, metaphysical mystery set on a floating pirate city, on an Earth-like planet, where whole civilizations exist underwater and diplomacy is carried out via submarine between human beings and formidable rock lobster centaurs who tattoo their tails with military decorations and tribal histories. The creatures in this book are terrifying, the plot even more so; and China, like Kafka, is obsessed with architecture, so the descriptive sketches of the marine worlds were enough to inspire years of work in themselves. I just needed one scene, for one collection. Each piece, I thought, could be part of the setting: fish bones, mussel shells, numbing metallic saltwater. We explored how to make a wet jagged rock dress for a pop star; we labored over sleeve shapes, molded volume into rigidity; I listened to a lot of Trent. After all that, this barely even skims the surface of the source material. We can come back for the monsters.
Nine Inch Nails, "In Two"
Guns N' Roses, "Rocket Queen"
Ozzy Osbourne, "Sin"
David Bowie, "I'm Afraid of Americans"
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, "We No Who U R"
How To Destroy Angels, "On the Wing"
The Cave Singers, "Dancing On Our Graves"
Radiohead, "True Love Waits/Everything In Its Right Place"
The Smashing Pumpkins, "Soma"
Aphex Twin, "4"
Because of the reflective and structural properties of the fabric, this collection required extra finessing and hours of fitting. We built new silhouettes that the fabrics could support, added handwoven angora material to the line, and continued our placement print collaboration with artist Justin Pauly.
Justin faced an added challenge this season: to deliver three-dimensional paintings - none the same, all asymmetrical - that would connect together across the garment, obscuring the seams. We began by sending him sketched maps of general shading ideas. He projected life-size shadows of the pattern pieces onto his canvas and used the shapes as a guide.
We set the campaign story underwater. Artist Katy Farmer joined our team to do Thai-inspired full body tattoo art on Ella. With the help of four assistants, Natalie developed a way to cast rippling light across our set, and used long exposures to capture the effects.
BUILDING THE LINE
Kat Cooper Brown/muse
Caroline Baribeau/hair & makeup
Katy Farmer/tattoo art
Jess Olm/behind the scenes