I had never checked out artlab's Etsy until tonight, even though Queen Michelle has extolled their virtues at least a couple of times. So in my bored trolling of Etsy I stumbled upon Patricia Ayres's shop, and, as I said in the title, I find her work quite inspiring and just a little macabre.
The best fashion designers are ones that can tell a story with a garment. In my opinion many of these pieces- the ones that tell a story- are so much more powerful than trends. I don't think these pieces necessarily need to be flattering- I think if a human being feels a connection to a piece of clothing that tells a story, they should wear it, whether it looks 'good' on them or not.
Patricia's designs, to me, invoke a sort of feeling of age, of eras long past mixed with fetishes of today, and of loss, or rather a certain sense of despair and desperateness, as well as just a hint of the fear that so many people feel when thinking about the idea of insanity.
Take the Hospital Dress for example:
The description reads "Stained dress made from raw material with bruise and text from mental hospital"
I read that and was thoroughly (though happily) creeped out.
I am not usually one to like things that make me uncomfortable, and things that creep me out generally make me uncomfortable. But Patricia mixes enough pretty into her designs to make me relish the odd, slightly startling aspects of each piece.
I love how she mixes textures, and deconstruction with construction, and how she shapes the material with unordinary cuts, and by stuffing and ruffling it into fantastic shapes.
In summary, if you haven't looked at her website and Etsy, you should.