Twelve Princesses on the Way to the Dance – Interpretation
While it is a beautiful painting no doubt, it is also very difficult to interpret as it is already and inspired work. The top half of the painting is symbolic of the Chinese wood cuts and the posters inspired by them during the Art Nouveau period. But there are hardly any whiplash curves or forms that are main stays of this art movement. This story like many other Grimm tales is set in the middle ages(13th -15th century AD). Thus it makes sense for the costumes to be from the same time period. I would expect the princesses to wear a bliaut or a houppelande (AKA Game of Thrones style). But to my surprise, the costumes here are Farthingale based robes from the Rococo period (17th -18th century AD) in colours that are not usually associated with that period. In a nutshell it was very confusing and once again I was reminded of why I tell my students never to choose a derived or imaginative work as their inspiration.
But then I guess that was the very point of this challenge. To see how well you can create when confused (read clueless) or bounded by restrictions. I tried making many different components for this challenge. Fabric beads – domes that looked like the Farthingales or Crinoline cages but none of them turned out right. Also, I was caught up in creating an original thematic collection – Patinam that I had to give up experimenting with this challenge. So with just 2 days left for the month end, I had eventually given up when I thought of showing a piece from my latest collection that has an indirect link to this painting aka the Chintz and Chinoiserie fabrics that are worn by the Princesses in the Painting.
Chintz is a glazed fine Calico fabric from India’s Coromandel coast that was block printed with floral motifs and exported to Europe between the 17th and 19th century. The Robe-a-la-Anglaise and the men’s frock coats of the 1700’s often used this exotic fabric. The word Chintz comes from Chint (refered to Chini thuni in Tamil). The popularity of Chintz led to a similar fabric Chinoiserie – with Chinese (oriental) prints fabric becoming extremely popular in Europe during the Rococo movement. Indian chintz was known for its strong red, black floral prints with blue, yellow, and green accents on a white – off white/beige background. It was one of the important items of intrinsic trade value in the Madras Presidency. Chinoiserie on the other hand furthered the importation of satin, painted silks (From China to Europe) in golden yellow and Chinese green adding to the Rococo spectrum of light pink, dove gray, and mist blue colours some of which you can see in the inspiration painting.
I created a metal component – a metal bib with the floral motifs using the colour pencil method inspired by Deb Karash. This process is very time consuming and can easily get streaky. But I used neither turpentine nor a fixative in between the layers, but simply heat I had used other mediums too. I finally heat sealed it with wax for the glazed look that you can find on Chintz fabrics. I also wanted the pattern to look faded in places with colour coming out of the outlines as I wanted to capture the spirit of hand painted or hand printed fabrics. Finally, I looped polished glass beads together to make a simple necklace.
This necklace is quite special to me – mainly because of its style code. It is SNP1000 – OW, that is the 1000th original necklace and earring set design of Sayuri. I did cross the millenium mark many months (maybe a year?) back if you count the Bridal jewelry, the long chains, and the customised pieces over the years. This count also does not include the several bangles, bracelets, rings, and other gift items that I have made in the past 9 years. But simply necklaces that I have created as a part of the various collections ever since I started Sayuri.
Details about the design
Design – Chintz Necklace
Designer & Art Component – Divya N
Brand – Sayuri
Before you go
Do check out the entire Patinam collection here. Your feedback and suggestions are very dear to me. So please tell me that do you think of it. Read more about the Patinam collection here at celebrating Madras week. Collection featured on Adyar times here.
I hope you found it interesting