Distorzirane bizarne krpice i vezovi, rastopljeni konac, saten u tehnikoloru, operetni krajolici, testament boga sunca - odjeća napravljena od uljepšane, bajkovite prošlosti. Kostimi za dekadentne izbjeglice iz povijesti kao sna ljetne noći. Nadrealizam, povijest i moda smiješani u bizarnu fantaziju. Odjeća za monumentalne svrhe. Neo-buržujski šareni punk. Snovi kao paralizirani cvjetovi.
Opsesivni ljudi su danas zadnja obrambena linija, ali još se ne zna protiv koga ili čega ratuju.
Glam Channeling with Chromium Dumb Belle
Chromium Dumb Belle is a lady of glitter, fantasy, and nostalgia, and has many dances in her soul, some of which she actually performs like a beautiful kook. Her big thing is embroidery and appliqué, wild art deco glam concoctions of flat fabric flowers that look like they were made of melted crayons and slightly tormented faces like those you see on the creatures of the deep sea, sliding sideways like a clock in a Dalí painting. Her work is glamorous and ready for the stage. What stage, you ask? Hello, the stage called LIFE, where we are all glimmering shimmering freaky stars.
She and surrealistic celestial photographer/cosmos channeler Owleyes have collaborated on a show called Machine Dances.
VICE: Hello Chromium Dumb Belle. Can you please tell me about the connection between dance and embroidery?
Chromium Dumb Belle: Well, I think there is dance in everything, every little thing around us is a dance. Embroidery is so rhythmic and I can only stitch as fast as my heart beats. I get into a bit of a trance and I can feel the needle enter the fabric at the same time the heart beats. The needle and thread, the piece I'm working on becomes another part of my body. So, you kind of become a sort of human dance machine thingy.
It allows me to remove that artificial structure built around us for a second, reconnect with my natural body rhythm, instead of forcing it into an unnatural accelerated pace.
In basically all your photos and videos you’re surrounded with scarves. Why do you love them so?
I didn't know I love scarves that much! I do looove floaty billowy fabrics and silks, fabrics that dance. I'm just really obsessed with dance theatre--the art, history, design, costume, everything about it. It's its own kingdom that really inspires me.
And then there’s the obsession with the mantis. What’s that about?
I'm pretty fascinated with insects lately, the mantis is probably the most beautiful insect I ever saw. It's like an exotic living origami jewel, and those things can DANCE. I love how mechanical they look. I'm hoping to get one after this show, actually.... We shall see.
You made a book called Biba Dolls, which was in homage to Barbara Hulanicki’s line from the 1970s. What happened with that? Where did that interest come from in the first place?
The Biba Dolls book was something I did a long time ago. I was collecting old Biba for years so that's where that interest came from. It was a short run, and self-published. At the time there was no real interest in Biba, there was only one other book out at the time that Barbara Hulanicki did back in the 80s or something, so I didn't really think it would get the interest it did a few years later. I may publish a second edition again one day. It seems a shame it was such a short run. When Biba relaunched they were going to publish another edition but it just didn't happen. It's a sort of long-lost friend right now.
Above are two photos from your show tonight. What’s up with this?
Owleyes and I collaborated on this together, we've been really inspired by each other’s work for years. The way my appliqué and embroidery work is assembled is the same way Owleyes assembles his [work], so we have a natural understanding of what the other is doing already. We haven't put our usual sort of work together for this show though.
We are both super inspired by the old world of the theatre--we made our own props, we staged the sets, designed costumes, and pretty much created a world for us to step into and become the creatures that we create in our other work. We also just did our own stuff that's there side-by-side, but everything has an element of the other’s work in it hidden somewhere.