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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Elfy Essex: Feathers and Hand Grenades

Posted by on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM

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  • FRANK CORREA
Designer Elfy Essex pulls inspiration from Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 film The Holy Mountain, which has no clear plot and is more like a psychedelic assemblage of nightmare moments. If you haven't seen it yet, take my hand (sorry it's so sweaty), and I'll show you around. Here's the person's face caked in flies. Here's the quadruple-amputee dwarf licking the forehead of the lithe, bearded Christlike figure. Here's the old man plucking out his glass eye. Here's the tree strewn with hundreds of dead chickens and a laughing, naked maniac. Here's the dialogue: "I eat the flower, and its perfume is my blood." And here's the guy cutting a slab of flesh from a living horse, and now he's eating it.

Elfy's designs emerge from a less disturbing mid-movie sequence involving an interplanetary war weapons manufacturing plant, with necklaces made from feathers and hand grenades, friendly packs of sheepdogs, and female-to-male transvestism. "I thought about doing pastel unisex business suits, but that interpretation was too literal. So I went with school uniforms, they're for a prestigious girl's academy on Mars," says Elfy. She boosted the adorableness with jumpers and string-tie Peter Pan collars; delicate pointelle knits; florals, polka dots, or strawberry prints; puffed sleeves; furry mini-pockets; and toy military style beribboned armbands. Elfy's other influences include club kids, Kewpie dolls, lavender-dyed cats, and the Japanese clothing brand 6%Dokidoki, which is crammed with girlieness and ruffled layers and candy tones, and is named for the sensation of "your heart beating fast, but in a good way. Like when you have a crush on someone and you see them somewhere."

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