Saturday, December 18, 2010

Petey Couture Preview 2011 - Some Comments

The time has come!!

Last night, we at Petey the Troll Apparel released our preview photographs from the shoot we did last week at the infamous abandoned Michigan Central Station across the creek in Detroit. Justin, one of our WetFresco photographers delivered them in the early hours of the morning and I posted them immediately. I can’t speak for the rest of the team, but I can safely say that this was the most memorable and most successful photo shoot ever. I knoooow I say that every time we post new pictures, but it’s true!! So last time I posted, I told you about the location, the calamities and debacles that we faced with entering the abandoned, barbed-wire-fence-surrounded structure, not to mention the cold and the fact that we almost caused an international incident.... this time, I’ll talk about something massively more important: the clothes.

This time around when we started thinking of Petey Couture, all I could think of was BIG. We created the sub-label for just this purpose: to create clothing as art, or Couture, if you will. It was basically so we could use outrageous fabrics and do off the wall stuff without it interfering with the marketing for our Ready to Wear line, Petey the Troll Apparel (Did I mention our Going Away Sale at Phog is next Thursday night?? - Shameless plug!!!!!)


I can’t speak for Meg, obviously, since I don’t really see her clothes before the model puts them on ever, but for myself, I started making sketches of large skirted gowns made of unorthodox materials to find the most over the top designs possible.

I always try to incorporate as many art forms as possible into my projects in an effort to create a complete picture for the viewer, supported by the surroundings. This project, for me, was about using other art forms that I am interested in to create clothing. The first example is obviously the colourful Art School Gown worn by Ivana Jezdic, a beautiful model and friend we’ve been using in shows and photographs for years. The base of this dress is utility canvas, the kind used for stretching across frames. I lined it with cotton, to make it a little softer for the wearer, and then coated the entire thing in white gesso. On top of the gesso is three more layers of paint, both oil and spray. This dress represents to me the transition I’ve taken since I started University and went to art school with the intention of being a painter to where I am now, preparing for my debut at fashion design college in Toronto.

Once the dress was made, before I added any details, Meaghan and I thought we should discuss the direction of the collection, for the sake of our application to Toronto Alternative Fashion Week. The main themes we both had in common were darkness, a sense of propriety reminiscent of the Victorian Gothic period, and an interest in over the top detailing.

What really made the idea come to life for me was our addition of the umbrellas into the line for the first time. As a side note, it has been on my mind to start creating umbrellas for over a year now and it’s finally coming to fruition. These umbrellas are insane, wait til you see them. So when you add umbrellas, black lace, formal wear and an overriding theme of darkness, the most obvious conclusion to come to is the darkest of them all: the dichotomy of life and death.

Meaghan’s counterpart to my Oil Paint dress was an androgynous, formal nod to the tuxedo, complete with frilly 70s tuxedo shirt. The outfit is simple, which is perfect, because the dress is so out there that we needed something to balance it. The best part about this outfit is the back of the jacket. She’s beaded together a skull, to make a broach. It’s a really wicked piece. Like I said, I never see her clothes before the photographers do, so I have no clue what else is coming for her, but I’m gonna leave mine at that for now anyways and say thanks for reading again and stay tuned for all kinds of Petey stuff happening over the next few weeks.

Until then!