Ambrosia Salad

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IT’S CALLED AMBROSIA SALAD. 

We began researching 1950s fashion: the shilouettes, the colours, the rules (war rationing was still in place e.g. jackets could only have 3 buttons) This moved into exploring the ever-intriguing suburbia. An apparent utopia with nuclear families behind white picket fences. But where there was actually deep issues with racism and exclusion, where families repeated the same monotonous days over and over, where families kept secrets and hurt each other to maintain a perfect external image. 

We began thinking about what we could combine with this research to explore the other side of the story. Someone who felt othered, and misunderstood, and forced into a box. - We settled on witchcraft, as this is something that is in our mums Scottish family history, and therefor a part of our heritage. 

Witchcraft for one has the famous history of witch trials, where outcast women were so often burnt at the stake as scapegoats for failed harvests or ilnesses, which unlock a whole can of feminist theory. 

Secondly witchcraft is highly demonised - witches have never been devil worshippers, evil, hags or villains. But are often portrayed that way. Witchcraft is a really beautiful spiritual practice - whatever version is practiced it is often all about nature, transcends gender binaries, and is about balance, healing and over all harnessing your own power. 

Finally it’s also something that has been seriously colonised and twisted. What we mean when we say that is in reference to things like: the trendiness of using smudge sticks in the western world now means indigneous people can’t actually find sage to buy and use for their own cultural practices. Another example: western representations of voodoo etc - voodoo is a real religion! With so much depth and importance - its not just a doll to stick pins in when someone has wronged you! I could go on (and I can on the day if you want haha) Witchcraft was something seen as ‘other’ and dismissed as ‘crazy’ when we colonized the lands that practiced it - just another example of seeing anything different than our own practices as ‘backwards’... but now it’s a trend? 

Anyway, we wanted to pay the homage deserved to witchcraft, but not through appropriating important spiritual elements that don’t belong to us. So we have used references like dried flowers and herbs, smoke and candles, the four elements, etc. to nod to the many variations of faith and practice that can fall under the generalisation of ‘witchcraft’. 

Through the looks we’ve created seven distinct characters who fall into the stereotyoical family tropes expected in 1950s suburbia, but made tiny tweaks to their perfect wardrobes with elements of their flaws, their humanity, and the power that they are having to hold in to avoid persecution from those around them. 

it’s funny that when you look closely everyone’s hiding the exact same things from eachother! Oh - and the name comes from a particulalry repulsive looking pastel coloured salad dish from the 1950s. (Honestly google it, it looks rough) 

This shoot shows the garments we made which are only available through hire.

Credits:

Creative director - Daisy Riley 

Studio Manager - Chiara 

Head Designer - Scarlet Riley 

Photographer - Dexter Prinsloo 

Makeup artist - Tina Kharti 

Hair stylist - Anoushka Danielle 

Models (in order they appear) - Iris, Zinzi

This shoot shows our garments which are available to buy.

Credits:

Creative director - Daisy Riley 

Studio Manager - Chiara 

Head Designer - Scarlet Riley 

Photographer - Simran Kaur 

Hair and Makeup artist - Saphron Morgan 

Hair and Makeup Assistant - Kirsty Bell 

Models (in order they appear) - 

Bethany Burgoyne

Darryl Okene

Tarrine Khanom

Siobhan Martin

Hannah Lummis

Grey Bobby Love 

Semicolon (Heather Gambon)