Trinidadian-based architect Tara Keens-Douglas has recently presented a series of carnival costumes made from folded paper and twisted rope. Created as part of Keens-Douglas’ master thesis from the University of Warterloo, the Ecstatic Spaces collection teases the boundaries of fashion architecture.
“A medium for humor, the costumes stand in for the bodies we do not have; ambivalently, they both degrade and regenerate. Costumed, Carnival embraces laughter and the grotesque, and gives the community identity. The chaos of parade, music, and dance fuses the body with the costume, transforming the individual, freeing him from inhibitions. For a brief moment it allows the body to engage in its own ideal, becoming something that it is not. The fusion of body and Carnival costume tells the untold story of the masquerader.”
Her thesis work studied the relationship of Trinidad’s carnival festival to personal arcitecture and the spaces they create and occupy. Consisting of four costumes, each are described to as four operations: appropriation, exaggeration, submersion and sublimation. “The four costume designs are grotesque, making extreme exaggerations and unfathomable representations of the body, violating the idealized, classical body. The costumes are an ephemeral architecture – fragile and mobile. They temporally distort the true nature of the body, transforming the wearer, perhaps disclosing new natures. They make a new “facade”, or emphasize one already in play. They are, in a way, architecture of the persona” says Keens-Douglas. Link