The House of Mirth

Art Narratives by Cynthia Korzekwa

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While sewing on this dress, for some unknown reason, I thought about Lily Bart.

Many years ago, I accompanied my daughter to Aix-in-Provence for a language course.  My reading companion was Edith Wharton’s THE HOUSE OF MIRTH.  Published in 1905, the book gets its title from Ecclesiastes 7:4: The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.


The protagonist is Lily Bart, 29 and unmarried. Lily will not marry the man she really loves because he is not rich thus dedicates her time trying to find a wealthy husband.  Unfortunately, Lily sabotages all of her possibilities for marriage as she unwittingly gets involved in a scandal that will eternally ruin her.

I remember quite well the night I finished reading THE HOUSE OF MIRTH because I cried and cried…

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Soda Can Sequins Huipil

Soda Can Sequins Huipil

Why not use old soda cans to make sequins? It’s quite easy to do with a hole puncher but they are then too tiny for me to work with. So I just cut up a can into little squares then rounded the edges with scissors. The aluminum can be pierced easily by a needle when sewing them onto a piece of fabric.

This “huipil” was made from a discarded black top. The ruffles are from a Valentino dress given to me by my friend Franky! And visible stitching (white on black!) was used to hem the edges.

Even clothes have to have names if you want to be friends with them so “soda can sequins” was embroideried on with yellow thread given to me by my mom years ago.

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Appliqué as a Form of Play

Appliqued Sweater

My Ugly Duckling Sweater is now a Swan.

This boring grey sweater was in my drawer taking up space. No doubt Marie Kondo would have brutally thrown in into a bin. But I am more kind hearted than Marie and decided to give my rejected sweater a second chance. So, armed with scraps from my stash, scissors, and thread, I did some abracadabra and turned something dull into something animated and fun to wear.

One of the major sources of worldwide pollution comes from the fashion industry. The most sustainable kind of fashion is that of taking something old and making it new again.

Appliqué is a great way to play. The French word “appliquer” means “to apply” and that’s what you do, apply one piece of cloth to another. Like patchwork and boro, appliqué was initially a means of repairing worn out or damaged fabric.

Mending is a form of aesthetics.

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Carine Lègeret

The artist Carine Lègeret models Muy Marcottage on Paros!

"Sky" Muy Marcottage dress

“SKY” Muy Marcottage dress

Carine Lègeret wearing Muy Marcottage

 Carine  wearing the Muy Marcottage dress θέλημα (will/errand)

Carine Lègeret wearing Muy Marcottage

with the Aegean sea in the background, Carine wearing “Sigh” Muy Marcottage dress…some people make you sigh, some do not

Carine Lègeret wearing Muy Marcottage

“No Expectations” Muy Marcottage dress

Carine Lègeret wearing Muy Marcottage

“Enjoy” Muy Marcottage dress

 

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Copyright © 2012 Cynthia Korzekwa. All Rights Reserved

“Freshness Is Not Eternal” Huipil

Freshness Is Not Eternal

One morning while sitting in the kitchen searching for meaning in life, I noticed that the oranges in the fruit bowl were getting mushy. The firm plumpness they had when I bought them had disappeared. With this realization, I had an epiphany —life is ephemeral– so I needed to get up and get with the program before it was too late.

This huipil was made from pieces of white cotton stitched together to be used as a canvas for a drawing made with water-resistant markers. Hand-painting, appliqué, and hand-stitching are used to further embellish the huipil. The back is a patchwork of colorful fabric scraps.

The model is also wearing a paper bead necklace and a bracelet made from ballpoint pen caps.

Freshness Is Not Eternal Huipil

On this model, the huipil is oversized so it falls off her shoulder when she dances!

Freshness Is Not Eternal Huipil

Note the necklace made from old T-shirts.

Details.

Freshness Is Not Eternal

Point of departure sketch. The huipil was made c. 2010.

Photographer, Chiara Pilar

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Marina Making Ripples

One Drop Makes Many Ripples

Marina van Koesveld is a magical thinker. With her thoughts she’s able to create new realities.  When Marina was younger, she’d dress as Frida (long before the craze) maybe because the two had much in common. Both  are painters.  And both are sensual with long dark hair and eyes that can perforate you like laser beams.

Here she is wearing the huipil dress One Drop Makes Many Ripples.  The dress is made from a second hand cloth that, maybe, was used as a towel.

“Flowing” in and out of the dress is a strand of pieced cloth. The fabric design reminded me of drops of water so I embroidered the phrase One Drop Makes Many Ripples around the collar.

one-drop9-b

The motion of everyday life creates ripples—one action produces other actions. Thus ripples connect us one to the other.  That’s why it’s important to be aware that our actions—be they physical or psychological—affect the lives of those around us.

Ripples are everywhere.

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