December 2015

collage diet challenge – Day 12

Day 12 of december 2015 collage diet challenge. Burgundy, maroon, cordovan, oxblood and rose! It is holiday season and I am in the mood for a glass of rich deep red wine.

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collage diet challenge – Day 11

Day 11 of december 2015 collage diet challenge.  These guys look like little creatures. The description beside the cut-out for the last piece said: “pack a punch!”, recommending a glazed crocodile skin tote for attention and getting noticed (on the carousel)! So I am packing a punch.

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collage diet challenge – Day 10

Day 10 of december 2015 collage diet challenge.  Today my Vogue musings brought me to these lush feathery leathery Christian Dior heels.  I had a show a few years back titled: I am a fashionista. This is how I wear it. This is how I am wearing my Diors today 🙂

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collage diet challenge – Day 7

Day 7 of december 2015 collage diet challenge.

Today my musings with Vogue landed me on Gianvito Rossi shoes  –  luxurious and sexy but working on piece #22 with the stitches that came as a response to the cut-out made me somehow emotional with a not-so-luxurious memory. A lot of personal memories that I had archived are surfacing throughout this process and this challenge. I have been doing serious collage work for six years now and it was just last week that I could connect the detailed work of cutting to one particular memory that I had stored away. Now that memory needs a backdrop story even though this is not a personal diary.

I had an interesting childhood. I lived with my single mom, going through lots of ups and downs as some do. There were some really bad times and poor times and many great abundant times. My mother was in the clothing business, all levels of it. At the good times she was running a small local jeans manufacturing before the cheap Chinese imports crashed it down and she became an importer herself. At the very very bad times – perhaps the worst – she worked as embroidery trimmer, meaning she had to cut the extra fabric around embroidered logos or images to make them look perfect on the garment. It was a very delicate and detailed job but mundane and cruel which paid peanuts.  She would log these massive bags of clothes home in winter – and then she would cut and cut for hours straight, day in and out until the next load. Her thumb still hurts from all that cutting. It went on for less than two years but it was enough to do damage and it felt like eternity. She knew that phase would end and she worked hard towards that. I don’t think I have ever shared this story to this date. We were/are a very proud duo and didn’t want anyone to know that life was hard.

One summer I helped her and became a trimming, cutting machine myself and she paid me for my work. That was my first official summer job at the age of fourteen. I bought myself a “trendy” rebellious looking mantoo (we are talking Iran’s alternative fashion and whatever we could translate to fashion under the force of hijab.) I was giddy and excited to look “cool” and to have earned it myself because  we couldn’t afford anything like that then. I had done a lot of stitching too during those days, repairing clothes and making clothes. It is quite an intimate relationship with fabric so that’s why I got a bit teary today because of that sense of familiarity and intimacy that I had pushed back.

I am not the person who dwells so much on the past. I have been so driven to experience inner freedom, in addition to my quest for social freedom given my background, that I have always looked forward and somehow pushed the past far behind. But these days I am really delving deep to see where the roots of my work lie and why I am doing it. It is strange that I am finally beginning to connect the dots after all these years.

So here we go. Being surrounded by fabric, stitches, folds, sewing process, garments and cutting… it all makes sense now. I have to admit I do get an immense joy out of the labour of cutting and what comes out of it. It is a very intimate process.

And, it is liberating to share this story for the first time.

Thanks for reading.

These guys #21, #22, #23 are done on 8 x 8 in watercolor paper.

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collage diet challenge – Day 6

Day 6 of december 2015 collage diet challenge. I made it through the first week! It is actually harder than I thought to be on schedule and consistent and hard to like every piece I post. Here are #18, #19 & #20. They are all 6 x 6 inches on watercolor paper. I am hoping next week I change up the size for some pieces to 8 x 8 inches. Let’s see how it goes. Only 80 pieces left!

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