“We love how these artists grasped at nature as a way of expressing pain, Frida [Kahlo] even ended up drawing flowers on herself”
Thus spake Fyodor Podgorny, one half of Fyodor Golan, as he described the first fashion show that meant anything to me.
Les Fleurs Du Mal was the duo’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection, named for the poetry of Charles Baudelaire. Looking back at the dresses themselves they’re versatile enough to make a beautiful cover shot or part of a multi-page shoot, but my interest was in the styling which teased out the hints of the malign.
Millais’ Ophelia is certainly present in the wet, bedraggled hair, the flowers, the gold neck braces threatening to choke and the morbid makeup but, rather than the oversaturated passivity of her Pre-Raphaelite tragedy, Fyodor Golan offered up something active, something angry. Theirs was an Ophelia who had had quite enough of lying in that fucking stream or bathtub or whatever with a drowning bouquet, thankyouverymuch, and d’you know what, Hamlet? Up. Yours.