Genie modelling “Lupe” dress on the terrace of La Sussurrata, Paros.
On December 12, 1531, an indigenous shepherd by the name of Juan Diego saw the Virgin Mary. Not only was she dressed in indigenous attire, she spoke to Juan in his own indigenous language. She asked Juan to build a temple in her honor and, as a souvenir of their encounter, left her image imprinted on his cloak. And this was the beginning of the cult of the Virgen de Guadalupe.
Today La Virgen de Guadalupe is undoubtedly the most popular Mexican icon. Her image can be found on just about everything from T-shirts to coffee cups to hand fans to key chains, etc.
Before the Spaniards invaded Mexico, the indigenous people had other gods. Then the Catholic Spaniards imposed their god turning faith into dogma. But when Juan saw the Catholic Mary who dressed and talked like him and was even brown skinned like him, an important change took place. Juan’s vision transformed an alien presence and made it local. Worship was once again personalized.
a souvenir T-shirt attached to a peplum
fabric print with calla lilies and indigenous people (Frida Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera, loved to paint calla lilies)…appropriation is everywhere
peplum & gussets
To make it easier to get into the dress, an opening in the back.
“Lupe” is the diminutive of Guadalupe and a popular female name in Mexico. It’s a great dress for dancing especially to Little Latin Lupe Lu!
Moral of the story: personalize the world and make it yours!
Cynthia Korzekwa ©
All of the dresses I make have a name. Because they are not anonymous. Because instead of looking at a dress as a thing, I try to create a relationship with it. For example, the Muy Marcottage dress “Quiddity”.
Quiddity, in philosophy, is the whatness of an object, its inherent nature or essence. Otherwise, quiddity refers to a distinct feature or a quirk, an idiosyncrasy.
A dress is a category but my dresses are specifics. They help to define me. They are an extension of my personal quiddity because I interrelate with myself when I chose the clothes I wear.
The body and its clothing live in symbiosis. At least temporarily. There is an intimacy we have with our clothes that we have with nothing or no one else. Because our clothes cling to us and touch our skin. They are there omnipresent and participate in our every move. Our clothes know our secrets. Our clothes are well aware of our quiddity.
The dress “Quiddity” represents, in terms of Muy Marcottage, a union between past and present. The top half was made during my early experimental attempts at remaking secondhand clothes. I was dissecting all the old clothes I could find and sewing parts together almost as if I were making a collage. Not happy with the results, I cut the top off from whatever it was attached to at the time and abandoned it. Then this summer my friend Lyn gave me a dress made from a stretchy ethnic looking fabric and, anxious to play, I got out my chopped up fabric stash and came across the abandoned top. Seemingly incongruent, the two mated perfectly.
Melding is magic.