Spoon Fed No. 7
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The Octo-Bustle :: Kelli Des Jarlais

As if she’s survived from a shipwreck and a long swim to shore, I imagine this dishevelled and sea-soaked Victorian lady emerging from the sea. She’s had to tear away the many layers of her dress to escape being drowned by their weight in the rough surf. Still intact is her delicate crinoline cage, a remnant of order in this organic chaos. An octopus has entangled itself in it, gripping at her waist ,with tentacles edging towards her neck as if it believes it can engulf her. She is a beauty, even through her exhaustion, as she collapses on the rocky shore.

The Octo-Bustle is an idea for a fantastical clothing creation, in which a woman appears to be wearing a bustle but is actually entangled with an octopus. It would be a sleek, high-fashion interpretation, rather than literal costume; a gritty-beautiful surreal imagination of this moment.

I make bespoke costumes and clothing in addition to my freelance work designing scenery and costumes for theatre. As I am early in my career, it is difficult to attract clients that are interested in my design talents as apposed to my sewing abilities. I believe I could use this project as the main branding for my business and show the extravagance and detail of imagination I’m capable of. Not being a specific client’s commission, this would be the first large-scale piece where I would have real creative freedom.

Quite simply, I am interested in using the funding towards the cost of materials and a location photo shoot for my Octo-Bustle.