Selected as one of the five showcases from the Annual submission entry on fashion and style, Layla Sailor layers images to explore femininity, fashion and identity by using familiar tropes of commercial photography.

Kokoshnik is my ongoing personal project that is in its 4th year in collaboration with pattern designer Lisa Stannard.

I looked into historical decorative folk crafts created by and for women and discovered the Kokoshnik, a traditional Russian head-dress worn by women and girls to accompany the sarafan, primarily worn in the northern regions of Russia in the 16th – 19th centuries. 

The project has now turned into an exploration of worldwide female traditional crafts, fashion and identity, religious iconography and the female icon as a symbol that can be subverted.  Using my friends children, street cast models and frequent collaborators, I seek to use the immediacy and commercialism of fashion imagery as a political canvas.

It is a celebration of the beauty of iconography, but also a discussion about the use of the strong female image in politics and religion, and the reaction this can provoke. 

See here for of Layla’s work.

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