Costume Design, Creative & Art Direction, Styling
Bringing the Past Alive
“Le Dandy” is a personal project and started from a fascination of the Romantic movement that originated in central Europe toward the end of the 18th century. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature. Women were liberated from suffocating corsets and the male figure was simplified and feminized with sloping shoulders and a cinched waist. Elegant and melancholic the romantic man is no warrior but a philosopher.
I wanted to explore this newfound character and make parallels with today’s mindset. I created a costume for an invented persona based upon the man in the painting “Above the Sea of Fog” by Caspar David Friedrich. He is a young and passionate writer born in Paris. He feels exactly like the young man standing on the rocky precipice with his back facing the viewer in the mentioned painting. Dominating the tormented landscape he acknowledges the insignificance of his own individuality within this image. This self-reflection with our dual rapport with nature is still relevant today.
Made in France
The costume was entirely handmade and based on original patterns from the Romantic time period. The redingote (coat) is made of delicate alpaca wool and the pants out of worsted wool. I photographed the costume in the most symbolic Parisian neighborhood, Place de la Bastille, where the French Revolution started and opened the door to the Romantic era. I recreated a visual juxtaposition of the past and the present by selecting a background with an old distressed patina and modern street art mural and stylizing the shoot with a vintage chair. The costume was later donated to a theater school in Paris.