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.