Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Sophie Cochevelou on Costume and Fashion

"My best ideas always came to me when I'm one my bike!"

You might recognise Sophie from my latest Street Style Vlog which we did on Brick Lane. I met her at Brick Lane market where she introduced herself and I was so struck by what she was wearing, I just had to find out more. Sophie Cochevelou is in her second year of her MA in Performance Practice and Design, she recently started a blog about he creations at

As a course with people with a vast set of skills, performance, costume design, lighting design and set design to name a few Sophie specialises in many areas of performance, " One day, I can be making a dress in the costume department, the next day I’m rehearsing the show of the play I’ve written and the day after that I'm shooting some footage for a pre-recorded performance. You have a lot of freedom so you have to be really organised in order not to disperse yourself too much. It's really rewarding." She began the course as a playwright and thinks that after the course she will become a costume designer instead, " I came as a dramaturge and a play writer and I think I'm going to end up more as a costume designer."

Inspired by childhood and common cultural imagery, "I think that artist see the world differently, or, more precisely as a material for art, we see the potential of creativity in the everyday life and every single object." Which she claims, makes life more exciting. "I'm convinced that reality is not fixed, it can be turned in something completely different at every moment. When you are an artist, boundaries are moving, you don't see that things are either beautiful or ugly but more as are they inspiring or not."

Delving in to her own past and childhood Sophie explores her childhood and ways of holding onto that magical time in her life through her use of Barbie dolls, as well as reconstructing the beauty ideals that Barbie portrays to young girls, and women in society. Instead of conforming to this beauty she reconstructs it, “By cutting them into pieces, I guess it's a way to claim my own freedom by damaging the perfect body of the feminine ideal embodied by Barbie. In a way within this act of destruction there is an act of creation.  But at the same time is a remaining of childhood: because I'm not interesting in playing with them anymore, the fact of turning them into jewels is a way to keep them by my side in another form.'

No I don't really have a style icon, I don't understand pages in magazines like "copy her style".  I’d rather say that I get inspiration from what I see. I like to take what I like in everybody style and make the synthesis of it.  As a designer, I think Jean Charles de Castelbajac is my favourite, a kind of spiritual guide in the way he uses pop art and childhood references.” Instead she prefers to have fun with her clothes drawing inspiration from what surrounds her. For Sophie, dressing up is a game and is as fashion should be, fun, “Anyway, I think is really easy as a "people" to be well dress, you just have to go on shop on pick expensive stylish stuff. But it's not funny, it's not really challenging, everything is affordable. I think my creativity in outfit come from my limited budget. It's becoming a game  "be the best dress as possible with the less money as possible. By accessorising cleverly a £5 dress you can make it look like a  £200 one!”

Instead of separating fashion and costume through her life she intertwines the two fields to create a cross over, perhaps this explains her eccentric style of which she finds difficult to define, “I don't think I have a really defined style. One day I can dress really futuristic with really bright colours and geometrical shapes, one other day I dress really vintage with a dress inspired from the 20s and pastel colours. One day like a posh lady and the day after I’m nearly a Goth. I just wear what I feel like, according to my mood.” However, the creativity found within her clothes and outfits is unmistakable. Perhaps her relationship with costume design is why, “I like to intertwine the two fields of fashion and costume.  I like to make my costume really stylish inspired by what I see in magazines, and in parallel, I like to bring the craziness, the eccentricity and the extravagance of costume into fashion in my everyday dressing. For me, costume has a performance aspect, it's more about creating a character and give life to him.  The costume turns you into someone else, whereas fashion is more the expression of your own personality through clothes. But I like to blur the line between them, where disguising is revealing your true self.”

All Images from Sophies

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