EctoMorph latex outfits by designer Krystina Kitsis are a prominent feature of Metamorphosis, a new short film by photographer and film-maker Aidan McCarthy.
Krystina, who has just celebrated 30 years in the business of designing and making EctoMorph latex outfits, tells us that her involvement in the project started with McCarthy explaining to her that he had an idea for a film and wanted to use latex in some of the clothing.
“I knew it had a butterfly theme. I had a meeting with Aidan, the choreographer Dominique McConnell-Wood and the musician Keith Levene, and the ideas evolved from there,” she says.
“It was good working on a collaborative project that forced me to use latex in other ways and in conjunction with other fabrics, which I like doing anyway.
“In the past, in my EctoMorph latex outfits, I have combined latex with fishnet, lace and powernet, and the designs for Aidan used organza and quilting.
“I like working with a challenge as it forces one to think outside of one’s own niche and often leads to the development of ideas in one’s own commercial work.
“The challenge here, apart from creating an interesting garment, was to produce something that would not restrict the movements of the dancer and would also remain looking good after some complicated movements.”
“I like collaborations. I have in the past also designed waistcoats for a dance troupe at Sadlers Wells. Latex lends itself to dance. I am surprised it is not used more by dance companies.
“Latex tends to be associated with restriction, but the fact that it stretches means it can be liberating in a fine weight. The film illustrates the fluid nature of latex.”
In a statement about his concept for the piece, director Aidan McCarthy says:
“I am interested in Restriction. By that I mean Restriction in all its forms. Restriction by Systems.
“All of these are antithetical to freedom. And freedom is what we want. This is what people are seeking when they enter into any aesthetic experience, be it artistic, musical, theatrical or transgressive.
“They want transcendence. Transformation. Or to Surrender. To go to a place where there are no rules. That is why I wanted to make a film about the struggle to be a Butterfly. It’s about a struggle to be free.
“I am also interested, in both my film and still photographic work, in the use of metaphor. It is a tool that I utilise constantly, so it was natural that I should turn to Latex to suggest the imprisonment of the body. An exo-skeleton from which to escape.
“Of course, Latex, like many fabrics, has its own psychological and emotional charge. My feeling is that the way that is usually represented is a bit one-dimensional. A bit naughty postcard.
“Instead, I think of it as a legitimate, versatile fabric. If I think about Fashion or Costume (both objects of Fetishism), I think of them through the prism of Couture, which is a tradition that often embodies both beauty and sacrifice. I give you Alexander McQueen.
“It was crucial that the costume and Latex for this film was suggestive of both restriction and difficulty, whilst allowing our dancer to move elegantly to a release before achieving transformation. Krystina Kitsis is a bespoke designer who understands both the Art and Craft of this.”
Watch Metamorphosis below and see for yourself how perfectly EctoMorph latex outfits works for the performer’s costumes in this fascinating collaboration.
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