MA COLLECTION 17
Wholeheartedly immersing herself and her design practice into the universe of dance and its expressive and overtly creative properties, Amy Ollett’s formula translates as interdisciplinary, where she amalgamates and explores the disciplines of dance, fashion, movement, and design. These interfaces are artfully awakened by the components of fabric, garment and choreography, which subsequently formulate, develop and conceptualize emerging relationships that result in original, theatrical and communicative sartorial outcomes.
Throughout Amy’s designs, she commences with the concept where she believes the body physically and emotionally extends into her clothing with effortless ease. Her experimental research investigates a manner of ways to prolong the natural form that therefore permits the human form to compose its own resolution to dress. “As a trained dancer and choreographer, I know the extremes of the body and its limitations”, acknowledges Ollett. “I believe these limitations can be realized through other means of expression and design, resulting in expansions of a new movement,” she explains. “My work synthesizes body and garment so that, without the other, neither fully exists. The body is no longer a passive thing to be ‘dressed’ but creates the complete form.”
Naturally, this philosophy has journeyed in the direction of performance processes in relation to research methodology, which accelerates the notion of expression and physicality to travel outside the skins surface, emboldening practical and artistic unity of body and design in equal measures.
Within the realms of expressionist dance and the field of fashion and design, Amy Ollett has executed a series of contemporary projects that individually illustrate a collision of relationships that center around body movement, performance and bringing a garment to life.
In the project ‘Remove’, the designer embarks on a research exploration and expansion that focuses on the movement lexicon concerning body and garment. This technique has been developed by Amy to support choreographic tools and techniques in conjunction with dancers, centering on design and story for performance relationships. In the project ‘Impermanence’, the onlooker establishes the body’s and garments relationship, where, within the medium of film, the clothing’s skin equals the models, and both moves as one to portray choreography and direction. Showcasing emotional albeit organic movement, the garment is awakened courtesy of its narrative and material manipulation, as it fights against expression. Lastly, in the project ‘648′, a concept imbuing animalistic qualities is identified in the emotional connectivity between the behaviors of human and animal. Live and still imagery is captured within this portrayal that illustrates the spirit and aesthetic quality amid the overall design.
During Ollett’s 2017 MA research collection that she carried out at Norwich University of the Arts, United Kingdom, garments of structural and highly conceptual intrigue are exposed, where the upcoming designer employed melodramatic and exaggerated proportions that resulted in the utmost creativity. Extreme silhouettes and imposing shapes generate eye-catching attention that beautifully captures the idea of movement and undisputable expression. Volumes of structural fabrics conceal the body, suggesting an innovative movement expansion. Severe shapes are juxtaposed with soft layers of capacious constructions that are fluid and ethereal via soft tiers of elegant draping and ruffles.
Amy is artfully exploiting a new and interesting aesthetic that magically marries dance with fashion – a fantastical fusion that has never appeared so very enchanting and inspiring.
Words by Katie Farley