The inspiration for my collection ‘First She Giveth’ was based on the painting ‘Dance of the dead’ by German Expressionist painter Karl Hofer. Hofer created the painting in 1946 with the intent of reflecting the societal climate in post World War II Germany.  I strongly identified with the carelessness and chaotic sentiment conveyed within the painting, the message still holds very true to the zeitgeist of today.While I knew the painting would influence and shape the concept and atmosphere I needed a way to translate the story into garment.  I began examining prolific dance movements within the 20th century to better develop a base for the collections shape and garments.  I researched ‘Northern Soul’ a high-tempo dance movement which emerged out of the United Kingdom in the late 1960s.

The clothing for this type of dancing involved garments that were constructed with patterns that relied heavily on pleating like wide-legged trousers and jumpsuits.  Once the person began dancing their clothing due to the pleating would easily gather air and create a nice volume when coupled with movement. To help create a stronger allusion to the painting, I isolated the dominate colors of the pink and yellow dresses and referenced those as my primary colors in the collection. I created my own fabrics through textile manipulation with the techniques silkscreen printing and patch-working.  I chose to use two silk-screen prints consistently through the collection; lace and python. I guess when you can do nothing else, dance!