Katherine Adair’s collection ‘Serpentina’ looks at the mythology surrounding snakes. The myths that influenced in particular were Greek Myths Medusa and Cadmus from Ovid’s Metamorphose and the Chinese White Snake myth. This leads her to look at Asian traditional dress such as the Kimono, at John Galliano’s 1993 and 1994 collections which both had an oriental feel. The collection leads her to look at obi belts to constrict and elongate the torso in order to create a more snake like silhouette. This myth also influenced the face of her muse. She looked at the anatomy and life cycles of serpents, the skin shedding informed her structural and fabric choices.
To achieve a more serpentine effect she wanted to have curving and undulating seams. She did this through creative cutting, looking at designer Isabel Toledo and French costume designer Geneviève Sevin-Doering, both of whom use unconventional patterns. This then lead her to explore ‘Transformational Reconstruction’ cutting, in particular pattern cutter Shingo Sato, to achieve a fitted silhouette with unconventional seams. The mood of the collection was influenced by the film Melancholia by director Lars Von Trier which paints a dark, twisted dystopia.
Mark Laita’s photography book Serpentine contains images of snakes in all colours and physicality’s. To achieve the sharp lines of a snake’s bone structure she explored laser cutting which used to create fabrics, in snaking seams and accessories. Offcuts of laser cut taffeta were upcycled into obi belts and rouched accessories. Gloves and socks in light organza also mirrors a snakes shedding skin.