Saturday, October 27, 2018

For SHINE, 2018 Carolyn Bruce Salutes Alexander McQueen and Highlights the Support Needed for Mental Health and Addiction

In the words of Dean Thullner-Veljacic, Founder and Producer, "TOGETHER WE SHINE!" And shine they did, a three page cast of Designers, Performers, Artists, Musicians, Stylists, Writers, Photographers and more, all coming together in support of Mental Health and Addiction at the 2018 SHINE event. Two main recipients of the significant funds raised, are: Lions Gate Hospital: Carlile Youth Disorders Centre, Hope Centre and The Canadian Mental Health Association.

A documentary film might better show the vast array of talent you will see at SHINE, and it transforms the Commodore and brings so much light into what can be a dark night. Interested in the creative process of designing, especially channeling McQueen, I visited the studio of Carolyn Bruce as she was getting ready for rehearsal, here

This is what I managed to snap as I watched her grand finale! Next year, I plan to sit with those fabulous Photographers and, to reserve a table. My ideal would be that everyone captures their favourite moment and then to write about that. As Dean says, " is essential for everyone to be able to express themselves on their own terms..." So here is the last act of the evening and Carolyn has provided her inspiration, symbols,sources and references below. Thank you for inviting me to SHINE! The stars are out!

Photos by Colleen and descriptions from the designer, Carolyn Bruce herself!

This is one of his iconic looks and I carried the antler theme over into the jewelry and hand pieces...using antique toned metals and pearls...and a deer head coathook as a centre piece to give dimension.
Thank you to My Sister's Closet for the wedding dresses that were combined to look like his lace dress.

A look to touch on McQueen’s lizard and snake skin collections with an upcycled leather belt and vines...combined with a silver lizard from the thrift shop and a snake and other metal create an earthy toned piece.

A beautiful design with gold and orange jeweled hues...combined with a hint of the dark side of Alfred Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS.
The headpiece was made from a disassembled chandelier...embellished with tassels and ostrich plumes.
A tribute to McQueen’s love of falconry and taxidermy...around which he based many of his collections.

A powerful look with dragons featuring in each of the designs, that represents McQueen’s Scottish heritage and the crimes against Scotland by England.
I was amazed to learn that we share the same ancestral birthplace...the Isle of Skye.
I tried to show how family and heritage can add strength to our lives...especially during times of strife and attack, from both individuals and society...and our own minds.
Thank you to My Sister's Closet, for the kilt and tartan bustier, that helped to pull this look together.


This design dealt with the ways people with mental conditions are treated...the pieces combined elements of shock therapy and restraints and as a result of these treatments individuals are left as unemotional robotic zombies.
Sadly, McQueen’s mental issues were not treated and resulted in his eventual suicide.

A look from his memorable revolving finale, where the model was spray painted by industrial robots.
I chose to design the jewelry around a jeweled queen theme, complete with a tiara, to illustrate that even a queen can suffer from mental issues and feel out of control.

This look was to illustrate the depression caused by trying to look like and idyllic...but totally unrealistic doll’s body and the addiction that ensues as individuals repeatedly attempt to attain the looks through plastic surgery procedures.
The design depicted dismembered torsos, arms and legs, with surgical
scissors and a purse of discarded body parts.
The struggle to be perfect and someone we are not...takes its toll on people’s self esteem and happiness, leading to depression and suicide...even in those who are preteen and play with these dolls.

My finale look that was a a decent into the fantasy world where McQueen spent much of his time, tapping into an imaginary world for his amazing designs, a place to escape reality and be free...where many people find solace when coping with mental health issues.
This was an over the top piece, centered around a large unicorn head with gold and pearl accents and chains. Then, to accent the fantasy, a unicorn hobby horse to ride.


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