ROISIN PIERCE AW23 PRESENTATION, TRAVERSES THE HISTORY OF CENSORSHIP AND CONTROL
Beware, Beware is a material response to Lady Lazarus, Sylvia Plath’s scaring examination of death and rebirth which explores the fear evoked by a woman sure of her place and intentions. Women in possession of knowledge and power have always terrified and moves to silence them have long shaped culture and politics. The collection traverses the history of censorship and control, with an eye on government and the Catholic Church. It is a conversation between present and pasti battle and resilience serving as the link from feminist books denounced at the pulpit and turned to ash within the hostile landscape formed by the Irish Free State’s Committee of Evil Literature to women’s fight for freedom in Iran.
The words of Plath, as well as Irish writer Edna O’Brien, once hushed by church and state, are amplified in cloth via the evolution of Pierce’s technical dexterity. Their words promised freedom yet wrought censorship, and that tension of realities is present in this hyper-feminine expression of women’s liberation, complete with deadstock bows, bridal veils, ruffles, and flowers. Beware, Beware retains the all-white aesthetic and sustainable, zero-waste sensibilities which sit at the heart of the Rosin Pierce brand, while expanding it into new territory with a variety of technical advancements. Traditional Irish crochet is rendered anew, tubular and spherical, sitting atop undulating layers of organza, Motifs of Irish wildflowers such as the Wild radish flowers (Meacan raidigh) and Snowberries (Poirin sneachta) pepper the collection, and contemporary three dimensional-embroidery floats like air, while smocked strips are layered and formed around the body.
Hints of skin peck out from beneath bespoke floral embroidery New smocking techniques are applied in tandem to create unique textures and surfaces: whole pieces of fabric without a single cut persuaded into three-dimensional forms which showcase new textile possibilities. Full-body shrouds, bubble hem bloomers, cowl neck dresses, and boxy blouses are all brought to life with smocking and pintucks Lace remains a central touchpoint too, crafted by three generations of Irish lacemakers who came together in Pierce’s studio in a collaborative effort, their meticulous handiwork evident in scalloped edges, swirls and cascading flowers. A symbol of hope and positivity for the women of Ireland, face was their biggest enterprise. A nation’s rebirth rendered in thread, passed through the needles of new generations.
Beware, Beware reflects a new women’s movement, manifesting through the perseverance and refinement of Irish craft Via contemporary renewal. Histories are not brushed aside, nor are they made ghosts. Rather they experience a resurrection within this collection, each stitch, each tuck, each motif a retelling of words formerly silenced: liberation through a new universe of craft and innovation. Styling by Ellie Grace Cumming, art direction by Simon B Morch, casting by Molly Ledoux, music direction and mix by Simon Parris, with original composition by Emma Savoniere and production by Gainsbury & Whiting all converge to bring Beware, Beware to life.