Altered Couture magazine issued a new challenge to artists – select a literary character from any novel of your choosing and create/design a garment or accessory inspired by that character.
My book of choice for this challenge was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and the literary character that I chose to alter and create a clothing item and accessory for was a “reveur”. The reveurs (the dreamers) in The Night Circus were individuals who were so entranced and enamoured with the circus that they followed it around the world and an exclusive club of sorts was created for all of the reveurs to recognize, socialize and acknowledge one another. They were men and women and from middle to higher society class. They wore mostly black and the only thing that set them apart and made them secretly recognizable to each other was a splash of red in their attire such as a scarf, a sash, a red rose at the lapel or perhaps a red feather in a hat.
I was inspired to create a coat and matching hat that a lady could wear to the circus that incorporated the graphic black, white and red colour palette of the circus in the novel. The black and white striped fabric in the coat and top of the hat is meant to look as though fashioned from the circus’ black and white striped tents. The collar of the coat is unique in that it can be worn flat or raised to frame the face, adding further drama to the wearer. The clock face in the hat design represents the large and ornate clock that stands just inside the entrance to the circus. A spray of black glittery balls on one side of the hat seem to float through the air as if being juggled and suggest the movement, illusions and tricks associated with the circus.
I wanted the pieces to be feminine, exciting to look at and very dramatic. The sudden flash of red in the sash that draws the coat in closer to the body, the hearts embellishing the collar of the coat and the feathers in the hat signify the passion and great love that the reveurs had for the circus and their time spent there. It also represents my own joy at having discovered such a wonderful and unforgettable tale of romance, magic and escapism in this great novel.
Wish me luck that I am chosen by the magazine to have these pieces published. The deadline for submission is September 15th and my submission was mailed today. If chosen, the article and my work will appear in February in the Spring 2013 issue.