PADAM PADAM … Edith Piaf’s chant can speak for me.
PADAM PADAM … it’s a nagging and pulsating beat that won’t leave you be. An obsession, an addiction that thumps and thrusts like a boiling pot or a drum rapping wildly beneath your chest.
This collection started with a very late night in an unusual club in Budapest simply marked “PIAF” in red neon letters. The upstairs like the red velvet interior of a jewelry box … the downstairs dark,low ceilinged, smoky and boozy … a seating area decorated with a few large portraits of the chanteuse … the menu provided a broken English description of the singer’s life … ending simply with … “If you still don’t know her, then try her out!”
Upon my return home, I began with the film “La Vie En Rose,” then started listening to Piaf’s music … jangly, screaming, lecturing insanity on love, passion, loss.
The collection draws most of its inspiration from the life of Edith Piaf. When I first saw the film about her life; then started getting into her music; then read her auto-biography; and viewed lots of other material from her life … I realized that I had to do a collection that was not only an ode to her life, but also an ode to everything French, dark, sinister, romantic, esoteric, and provocative that I love and associate with enigmatic and tragic artists from this period … Piaf of course, but also fellow torch singer Billie Holiday, designer Elsa Schiaparelli, and painter Frida Kahlo.
I discovered cross-cultural references as well as elements of Surrealism amongst the work produced by these exotic, creative, powerful and passionate women during the 40s and early 50s.
We’re going into the dressing-up boxes of these women for Fall/Winter 2014/15. I hope it will be a strange celebration as we give in to this haunting refrain.