Visual artist and fashion designer Annalisa Middleton will show her collection of garments, props and one-off accessories during February’s London Fashion Week.
Clothes are something we wear everyday. Aside from their practical function, they communicate something about each of us, whether consciously or otherwise. Garments can be used to transform the wearer and even create a new persona. Most often this is for the purposes of entertainment or art, but what of the many other reasons? What we wear can indicate our social standing, our taste in music, even our sexuality.
Certain garments are often used in rituals or religious ceremonies; they can empower the individual, help them in mental preparation, as well as signifying them as part of a group. Particular items are in themselves a symbol, with many different interpretations, for example the cloak can symbolise the cover of salvation and protection, whereas in the Jewish tradition it represents kingship and regality.
This exhibition demonstrates the artist’s intrigue with transformation and symbolism with a selection of handmade objects from different points in time. Some older costume pieces are abstracted from folklore or loosely based on traditional historic dress. Some of the newer fashion pieces are much more carefully considered for a certain individual, imbued with the artist’s own visual language and personal symbols.
In such pieces, the imagery in the embellishment is not a mere afterthought but has played a direct part, from the beginning, in developing the overall mood and construction of a garment.