Fashion Designers

Lea Swarovski

Lea Swarovski
Based in London

My name is Lea, i previously studied Fashion Design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp and am now studying at Central Saint Martins.
I examine Fashion through a socio-political lense, as for me, Fashion is the embodiment of cultural development.
Themes I mostly work around are female empowerment, social taboos/norms, historical or current events, religion, ugliness/beauty, medical or psychological phenomena, catastrophes, my own daily experiences and observations etc.

Sometimes I start my projects without any research or conceptualisation and I work intuitively, with lots of experimentation, draping and deconstruction.
Other times I prefer to read and write a lot, prior to starting the design process. Textbooks, articles and museum visits, but also conversing with people about specific things are my favorite sources. I am addicted to Information and always try to gain new knowledge with each project.

My white project is about the first ever amputation, which was performed 30.000 years ago. I was amazed by the level of medicine in the Stone Age. My research consisted of historical medical corsets, modern prosthetics, images of amputation, deformation, and medical diagrams.

I was particularly interested in phantom pain, which is a neurological phenomenon that occurs in the spinal cord and brain. The corset of the underlayer represents the physical body of the patient and connects the back with the head through the neck. Underneath it, is a chemise dress with X-chromosome-shaped ruffles.

The crinoline structure is reminiscent of a medical corset, which used to be made of very stiff leather, utilizing negative space to support the torso. Due to its huge size, it loses its function of putting pressure onto the body. Yet, it still constricts the wearer‘s movement. The crinoline symbolizes the phantom of the patient’s body and the painful process of physically and mentally letting go of a body part, which is no longer there.
Essentially, this project tells a story of the ephemerality of human beauty and power.

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