I have chosen three male characters from Shakespeare’s plays: Hamlet, King Lear and The Merchant of Venice. In styling the denim products, I wanted to create a display for male customers of M&S, creating a contemporary look mixed with the presence of Shakespeare’s characters and the versatility and long tradition of denim as a fashion material.
TRADITION OF DENIM FABRIC
Through my research, I found out some interesting facts about denim fabric. It has a long tradition goes back to as far as seventeen century. There is a dispute where did it originate from Italy or France?
The colour of denim wasn’t blue at the start and the Italian sailors in the city of Genoa where making trousers out of it for work in the harbours. The material was strong and sturdy. The French pronounce the word Genoa – Gênes, it may be the origin of the word jeans.
In France, in the city of Nîmes the French were trying to reproduce the jean but instead, they created similar fabric later on known as denim. From Nîmes as the French say de Nîmes – denim.
During my Visual Communication course, I had to create a handmade book with illustrations for a chosen poem. It had to be an interactive book. I worked with a poem Warning by Jenny Joseph, an English poet. To me, the poem is about the passing of time, reflection on life, regrets and promises. There is a mystery of the narrator age. Is it an old lady looking back at her life? or is it a very mature young person making decisions about her life?
I built the book like an accordion, so the illustrations could fall from one to another creating a story. Covered it with Financial Times, which is printed on pink paper, the colour has faded away now …
I put seeds and leaves of a linden tree in the background of the illustrations with an idea of creating an impression of a circle of life in nature. From the seeds at the start of the poem towards the falling down leaves at the end of it. The narrator talks about wearing purple, I tried to place purple or pink in most of the pages, also used pink ribbon to wrap the book, as pink is considered very girly and youthful colour.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick flowers in other people’s gardens And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat And eat three pounds of sausages at a go Or only bread and pickle for a week And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children. We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.