As I Lay Here is a fashion editorial that engages with the unconscious thought. Working with three Toronto-based designers, Zoba Martin, Catherine Curtis, and David Dunkley, I have constructed a series of narratives that capture the essence of fantasy conveyed by their couture designs. Through the innovative work that they are producing, these artists are establishing themselves within the fashion community. I admire their artistic expression and experimental approach, as it allows the garments to be styled in numerous ways. Particularly, these designs emphasize the quality of the fabric and its fluidity, while communicating its own mood and story. Using the textural aspects and shapes of the garments in combination with the environment, the idea of an irrational reality, or in other words a dream state, has been illustrated. Through this series of images women are portrayed in a positive and empowering way rather than the objectification that they often face.
As I Lay Here is influenced by fashion photographer Tim Walker. The images have been composed on location and in studio while still sharing the notion of the unconscious. The outdoor images take advantage of the environment by using the natural elements of the space while paired with artificial lighting to suggest a dream-like quality. The studio spaces allow more flexibility to create an unrecognizable environment and further extend the dreamscape that has been established.
Using surrealist aesthetics as a point of departure, I focus my work on the quality of the haute couture designs. Freudian’s Psychoanalysis was a common theme among surrealist artwork. The subject matter was a representation of the desires, thoughts, and motivations suggested within dreams. This has a subtle influence on my work as I fabricate the mood of each image. Aesthetically, this project has been approached in a surrealist style while opposing to the negative representations suggested of the Surrealism movement. The tendency of surrealist artists was to commonly create work that objectified their subjects, especially the female figure. Instead, the subjects in this work are in control of their body and movement as they pose in strong and dynamic stances. Working with creative and driven designers that focus their women’s wear on embodying elegance and strength, a sense of female empowerment is projected amongst the surreal work that has been created within this series.