Gabrielle has worked as a textile designer in the fashion industry for six years and is interested in how fabrics can shape and manipulate the human form in dance, she was interested in the interplay between a costume, dancer, movement and perception and collaborated with photographer Paul Weaver to capture this interaction.
When she created the dress Gabrielle explored themes of architectural abstraction, asymmetry, geometry and inharmonious alignments and was inspired by Gestalt theory; the concept of the ‘law of closure’ which states that individuals perceive objects as complete when parts of a whole picture are missing, our perception filling in the visual gap. This inspired the designed cut away features of the dress; whole sections are missing and the lack of symmetry within the three dimensionality reflects uncertainty for the discordant body within.
In the studio Paul worked with model and dancer Francesca Moffat to show the parallels of sharp detailing of the costume which was intentionally awkward to move in. This resulted in tight and restrictive movement that created abstract geometric shapes, and angular and linear gestures. The dress is a starting point for the dancer to work with; but it was the movement that gave deeper meaning and definition to the angular lines and the voids that make up the piece. The dancer is to be perceived as a geometric abstraction, a figure symbolising the potential of completeness whilst remaining an exploration of the human form.
Using the opposites of black and white in the dress and relate it to the background. To hide and conceal the dress, and even the person at various times to show how the person and dress can interact. The collaboration examines the state of physical change that we see and know is happening. It represents void, concealment and revelation. Suki used a variety of wigs to either merge with the background, or to stand out from it, and in this way we wanted to show a single dress in variety of forms.
The bodice is made from rigid matt white leather and the skirt consists of fifty metres of soft net tulle fabric hand sewn on in layers.