Fashion and Textile Design
'Keep your Eye on the Doughnut', fashion collection (2011)
Let’s keep our eyes on Mariel
We all remember the inspiration for the third collection by Mariel Manuel, 'What Happens in the Grotto, Stays in the Grotto', in which loving couples fled into a magic wood and became transformed into animals, adorned with crowns of twigs and with claws projecting from fur-trimmed sleeves.
Her designs for her fourth collection, entitled 'Keep your Eye on the Doughnut', show eight women with crowns made of shells, standing on piles of sand and dreaming of sun browned musclemen. She displays an eight-woman 'Venus Gang' - inspired by a summer spent in California - with one leg in the sea and the other in a Paris salon. The playful reference to Botticelli's Birth of Venus is unmistakable, as are the Muscle Beach prints on one of the fabrics created by Manuel for the collection.
As with her previous collections, it is the irresistible fabric prints that initially enchant the viewer. They present elements and creatures from land and water on the wide and undulating cuts of fabric in colours that are restrained yet full of rich contrast. In addition, Mariel Manuel lets algae leaves play around seams, hems and the overlong sleeves. The talent and the humour of this fashion designer are also revealed by her sketchbook. Its collages of photographs, printouts and hand drawings show the fanciful fantasy world that lies behind this compelling and distinctive collection.
Winning the Swiss Federal Design Award 2011 made it possible for the young designer to produce a limited-edition series of silk shawls inspired by a particular collection. We await this new series with interest. It is a shame that we do not yet know the title of the new collection.