dERAI\- is a final-year-project based loosely off the 'Murder of the Orient Express' - with it, came the idea of luxury travel, lineworks seen through in exploration of prints and drape, and varied imaginations of the 1930s.
This collection is also showcased here.
The collection is inspired from the movie ‘Murder on Orient Express’, adapted from Agatha Christie’s 1986 novel of the same title. The plot quickly ‘derails’ into a murder case, with an even more surprising twist at the end, that is the most unexpected yet also the most logical. As a solitary idea, ‘derail’ signifies a person or concept that deviates from the norm. The linework in the collection best represents this idea : lines that curve and deviates, or lines that meet and join, signifying the awkward yet seamless integration of two extremities, wrong and right - where nothing is completely wrong nor truly right.
A particular common theme that I found from the 1930s (the backdrop of Agatha’s Christie “ Murder on Orient Express”) and the present day, was the idea of ambiguity. This was also evident from the movie’s unnerving balance between suspense and lightheartedness. The 1930s followed the opulent Art Deco period of the 1920s, while forseeing the solemnity of World War 2, and was set during the ongoing Great Depression, it was an era of great uncertainty. Practicality of dressing contrasted with more feminine silhouettes of the time, vibrant prints juxtaposed the grim outlook, despite all this, people still dressed meticulously and lavishly. Perhaps, it was a way of concealing the anxiety and fear in people’s minds, just like how characters from the Orient Express all carried a heavy burden on their hearts, but hide their true agenda via their elaborate dressing. Then, in our new era, we are also faced with a new set of uncertainties, a set of feelings unique to our time; and sometimes we embrace this ambiguity, dressing how we feel and sharing to the world our various ups and downs, so much at times, that it feels unreal.
In the air of ambiguity and uncertainty, the collection is designed to introduce new and a more vibrant outlook to the solemn and heavy tendencies as seen in Agatha Christie’s interpretation. Thus providing an optimistic reassurance that no matter how far we ‘derail(s)’ and stray from the path, everything will eventually find its place with time. Hence, bright /pastel colours contrast and compliment with darker tonalities, feminine silhouettes inspired from the 1930s, are presented in a new take, through layers and styling - comprising of jumpsuits, pants and outerwear, made for the 21st century women. Fabrics also come in a variety, some manipulated, some printed, and stiffer fabrics of different textures come together to create a rich mix of quality and fun.
The collection is ultimately very concept-based, in which I initially designed with a mood in mind. This mood is informed by the period of the 1930s, the various landscapes that one would see while en route their travelling experience, and it is reminiscent of the cliche yet classic notion of travelling in style and as a luxury. In comparison with how people travel today, people travel because of the need more so than for leisure purposes, we are always in a hurry, often neglecting the thrill and experience of the journey.
In line with the chilly landscape of the movie ‘Murder on Orient Express’, the collection is set for Pre-Fall 2019, showcasing a high street, ready-to-wear collection of womenswear - consisting of intricate layers of coats, jumpsuits, pants and skirts, made to survive the cool weathers.