FEMDOM FASHION ILLUSTRATION

Femdom Fashion Illustration
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FEMDOM FASHION ILLUSTRATION



15 Tuesday 15th February 2011

During London Fashion Week, a pop-up exhibition at Seymour Place will showcase photography, graphic design, and illustrations depicting and/or inspired by fashion. Sardax's collaboration with Afira is one of the highlights, an arresting series of images which combines Sardax's vivid images of female domination with the clothing from Afira's 'Dark Daze' collection. We invited Afira to explain the images, and she took the opportunity to shatter our preconceptions!

How did you come to work with a femdom illustrator?

I have known and admired Sardax's work for a long time. Then one evening I found myself sitting next to him at a dinner party! We hit it off immediately, became friends and creative collaboration soon followed.

Tell us about the narrative behind these images – is there a story that links them together?

There is not a traditional, linear narrative (though you are welcome to find one that makes sense for you). But the collection does tell a story of a kind, which I don't want to say too much about, involving a woman taking the structures of oppression and re-imagining them as expressions of her power. I see Sardax's interpretations as fantastic wild flowers which spring up unexpectedly in my carefully nurtured garden.

There's an interesting tension in this series, in that femdom is aimed at men who want to see images of dominant women, and the purpose of fashion is, as Galliano said, "to make women dream". So, who are these images for?
 
Most of Sardax's fan-base is male but he is as happy for women to enjoy his art as I am for men to enjoy my clothes.

Well, what do you think your customers will see in these pictures? Is that different from what Sardax's customers will see?

I hope my customers will see images of women experimenting with, enjoying and flaunting their sexual power. I can only imagine Sardax's fans will see the same, but perhaps from the very particular perspective of men who adore that power in women.

Your website says, 'Strong, powerful and sexy women are my inspiration, and my customer. [...] They don’t dress for men, or other women, they dress for themselves. [...] Afira captures the essence of timeless beauty for the woman who is passionate, feminine, and provocative, releasing the femme fatale in all of us.' You could argue that the 'femme fatale' is all about dressing for men, as she gets her power by using male desire to victimize men. Is that what women want?

My collection enjoys the archetype of the femme fatale, and I hope creatively explores that. It's not about victimising men, rather about celebrating women. That is Sardax's perspective too.


Surely these images are about both – and so, about how men and women interact with each other.

I really don't think the Sardax images are about victimisation, the men are willing subjects in a consensual power exchange. It's fun for everyone in the picture.

How do you think women want to interact with men?

We want to be accepted on our own terms, of course. My designs, I hope, are part of a bigger cultural project in which women are reframing the picture of how women and men relate. A woman wearing my clothes is administering a shocking jolt of perspective when she enters a room. You can't just look through her, past her or around her. She has to be recognised, acknowledged, accommodated. What she does with that recognition is then down to her. My designs are made to help her grab that initial space.


Are strength and dominance the same thing?

A good question. Even in this relatively advanced and liberal society, a strong woman can be rather challenging. So our vulnerability is sometimes mistaken for weakness. In fact its the source of our power. You can be strong without being dominant, I'm not sure however you can be dominant without being strong. Oh sure, some weak types try, but being loud or being a bully is not being dominant. Often the quietest person in the room is the one who dominates it. And often that's a woman.

What do you think about when you get dressed in the morning?

I think about how this is a day that has never happened before, and will never occur again, and I try to think of myself as about to go on a wild creative adventure. Which is sometimes tricky if all I'm doing is going to Tesco.

The Art of Fashion runs from 16-23 February at Fashion Capital, 2 Seymour Place, London W1. You can find more info at www.fashioncapital.co.uk, check out Afira's designs at www.afira.co.uk, and join Sardax's member-only website at www.sardax.com.

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at panic@dontpaniconline.com and we will respond asap.



Comments

  • Guest: warpster
    Tue 15 - Feb - 2011, 13:52
    Wow, stunning pics, great designs and amazing comments from the designer. I'm going to see this exhibition.

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