The distorted idea of perfectness that is constantly reinforced in the media is something we are all encouraged to strive for, to pursue however unsatisfying it will inevitably be, rather than seeing the true essence of what is beautiful.
It’s my job to design clothes for women, but in order to understand how to dress them, I need to not only look at what’s on the outside but also on the inside – what it feels like to be a woman today.
I see more and more women cleverly and stylishly mix fabrics and colours, striking conflicts, bold prints and silhouettes – trends come and go but a strong silhouette is timeless. It inspires me to see how women are less submissive to trends, to see women who know who they are, and what they want to express by the way they dress and the way they live. That seems to me to be the essence of what matters, what is fresh and surprising.
I return to the word empowerment, haunted by the figure of Frida Kahlo in particular, who remains deeply influential to me, especially in her use of dramatic symbolism, both tender and protective. She deviated from the traditional depiction of female beauty in art and instead chose to paint the raw and honest experiences that so many women face.
We are living in an imbalanced world and for me it’s important to define creativity in such a time of uncertainty. I looked too at Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of flowers that would seem both audaciously sexual and innately feminine, in the most subtle of ways. O’Keeffe was a woman who wasn’t fearless but rather rejected the idea of fear in the same way that I believe we should reject the inaccurate concept of perfection, she stated “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do”. I know how she feels.
To celebrate these two women, 3 porcelain medallions were created by James Webster, parts from his exhibition, ‘Trophies’, shown in London and Europe.
Being French I understand we have a different mindset to people from most cultures. That it’s not just clothing, or nutrition or even surgery, but it is the attitude of self-acceptance. It is this that I truly believe is magical and seductive.