This week Villainess launched, a fashion photography exhibition born out of a collaboration between Georgia Kartas (blogger at Red Magpie), Elley Freer (Photographer) and Laura McLeanne (Makeup Artist). The photography series sought to vivify those thespian alter egos that we would not dream of inhabiting in our mundane nine-to-five lives, but that, no doubt, lie deep within – our inner Villainesses.
Incorporating pieces from Canberra’s local independent designers, legendary female antagonists of familiar bedtime stories, modern film and video games were reborn, from Morgan Le Fay of Arthurian legend (in EDITION (Alice Sutton)), to Silent Hill’s terrifying Pyramid Head (in Kathy Kalokerinos). Many items photographed, including headpieces by Bronwen Stead and Annika Hutchins, were created especially for this project. Also involved was Canberra evening wear designer Sofia Polak.
The Villainess team’s vision of the ten female archetypes were dark and sensual, and savagely beautiful. Notably, the Borg Queen (Star Trek Next Generation, if you were wondering) in SZN (Suzan Dlouhy) dress, worn upside, was unsettling but thrilling to behold like a good horror movie.
Tying the wildly diverging images together were underlying themes of femininity and elegance, which were expressed as powerful but corrupt by vulnerability. This, perhaps, is a simplistic but passable summation of the female condition. After all, it only makes sense that our villainous alter ego is both the antithesis and the reflection of our true natures.
Villainess is showing through 9 November 2013 at Kaori Gallery, Corner of Hobart St and London Cct, Canberra.
Georgia Kartas, Fashion Editor for Villainess