The journey of exploring the possible structure and values of a fictitious utopian world is acutely relevant to today’s global challenges, and one which gave me a delightful opportunity to design for maximum reuse of materials while creating an entirely new visual world. The potential appearance of a more sustainable society than the one our main protagonists normally exist in was always going to require a predominance of natural materials – this was brilliant timing as we are all trying to adapt our practise to be more environmentally responsible without selling our audiences short of visual pleasure and surprise!
It has been terrific fun working with the world of weaving, and have discovered that there are few limits when it comes to shape, scale or colour. It has also been a lovely opportunity to work with other practitioners and materials. There are so many inventive and insane costumes to be inspired by, we have been charmed by rhubarb headdresses from Iceland, wearable felt huts from the shepherds of Iran, the basket hats of the Komusō – shakuhachi playing mendicant monks, waterproof seal gut raincoats made by Inuit hunters, the traditional madhalla hats of women in Yemen, straw minobashi raincoats from Japan and on and on – it was hard to know where to begin with such a treasure trove of starting points. Human ingenuity and inventiveness remains both our greatest attribute and worst compulsion.
I hope you enjoy the traditional bell dresses and woven rope hats of Halcyon!