Muy Marcottage purses

Art Narratives by Cynthia Korzekwa

Every summer while on Paros, I try to make purses using my  household trash.

“Clean Clutch”
clean clutch, muy marcottage

front
clean clutch, muy marcottage

 back

This is a little clutch made from a transparent detergent bottle. I cut the bottle open then used scrap materials to crochet the missing part. There’s a flap that opens on the front kept in place by velcro.

 “Piselli Purse”

piselli bag, muy marcottagepiselli bag, muy marcottage

Another plastic bag purse.  The base is from heavier plastic whereas the “ruffles” are from flimsier bags.   It’s named “Piselli” (peas) because of the pea picture from a frozen food bag appliqued on.

“Chupas Bag”

Chupas purse

On one of my walks to Krios, I found this deflated plastic football and decided to transform it into a purse.

Chupas purse

Not liking the brown, I sewed on strips of plastic from garden dirt bags.  The rest was made from plastic bags.  Maybe when I get back this spring, I will make some additional changes.

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The House of Mirth

Art Narratives by Cynthia Korzekwa

More MUY MARCOTTAGE:


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.

Button Jar

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.

Button Jar

 

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

 

Button Jar

Copyright © 2012 Cynthia Korzekwa. All Rights Reserved

Claire McCardell and The American Look

Claire McCardell (1905-1958) was a designer who also took the Occam’s Razor approach to creating clothes in large part because of  the WWII imposed parsimony. Using limitation as a source of inspiration, Claire created designs meant to make the most out of a little. She used “alternative” fabrics such as denim and wool jersey and surplus government weather balloon cotton for her creations.  And the shortage of leather led to Claire’s making ballerina flats popular.

With the war, women had to assume a chores generally done by men as the men were busy being soldiers.   No longer objects but, instead, sheer animation, women needed clothing that was practical and easy to move in.  Claire may have been influenced, when studying in Paris, by Coco Channel’s desire to liberate women shackled by fashion.

Claire, often referred to as the High Priestess of the Understatement, said she designed things that she needed for herself but, it seemed, others needed, too.  She strove for simplicity and created mix ‘n match garments that could extend a wardrobe with the leitmotif of  functional and affordable.

Claire revolutionized American fashion via some of the following designs:

 

Diaper Bathing Suit (1942)

Claire McCardell's Diaper Bathingsuit

 

Popover Dress (1942) which was a wrap-around dress including an attached pot holder for those women who had guests for dinner and thus had to run back and forth from the kitchen.

Claire Mccardell, every hostess needs an oven mitt

 

A wrap dress was versatile in that it could be used as a house dress, party dress, dressing gown and even as a bathing suit cover up.

Claire McCardell, Popover Dress

For the Mayans, a huipil created a sacred enclosure for a woman’s body. And, when she entered her garment by pulling it over her head, the woman became the axis of her universe. Popover dresses also permit the woman to be the axis.

 

The Future Dress made from triangular pieces of fabric.

Claire McCardell, she cut a triangle and wore it

 

Shoulder Shrugs are easy to fold and easy to wear (1947).

Claire McCardell, shoulder shrug

 

Georgia O’Keefe owned a number of McCardell dresses.

Claire McCardell & Giorgia O'Keefe

 

Claire collaborated with artists such as Picasso, Chagall, Milo, Leger using fabrics designed by them for her creations. For her  “Fish Dress”, she used Picasso’s ‘Fish Print’ fabric (1955).  Thus something designed by Picasso could be bought by the yard. The artist didn’t mind commercializing his art.  However, Picasso refused to have his designs used for upholstery fabric.  It was one thing to be worn but something totally unacceptable to have his art used for sofas thus be sat upon.

Claire McCardell and Picasso's Fish Print

 

Huipil dresses to make inspired by Claire include the halter top dress and the Grecian tunic dress.

Claire McCardell Style

 

Bibliography:   McCardell, Claire. What Shall I Wear? . The Overlook Press.New York. 2012