• Text Alex Baker
  • 17th February 2017

The dolls

In these times of global uncertainty, designer duo Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones cast their minds back to Hans Bellmer’s rebellious mutated dolls created in 1933 – the year Adolf Hitler assumed power in Germany – as symbols of political defiance against the ideals and social norms promoted by the Nazi regime.

Bellmer’s message – rejecting the socially constructed abstract – was re-enforced by a soundtrack sampling positive spoken word messages, including a poem from Kate Tempest and an extract from Meryl Streep’s powerful speech at the Golden Globes denouncing Donald Trump for his alleged mocking of a disabled journalist, and a line-up inclusive of two disabled models.

Entitled The Body, the collection played with exaggerated proportions and uneven hems, frequently tied together with ribbon (a nod to Bellmer’s dolls). Moving from midnight navy to rich blood red to monochrome hues, the collection echoed Bellmer’s sentiments: “The body is like a sentence that invites us to rearrange it.”