Featured designer Megan Marie Dodge of SOBOTKA debuted her AW2012 collection at the Tribeca Grand this past fashion week. If you haven’t seen it, check out our full review here. We caught up with Dodge as she gave us some valuable insight behind this magic carpet ride of a collection.
2+7: What is the story behind this collection? What do you want people to know about this collection that they might not grasp just from viewing it?
Megan Marie Dodge: This season I explored the loss of cultural traditions in humanity. It began with the rugs, and a study of the carpet traditions in the Middle East. These young women in nomadic tribes that used to let the divine work through their fingers and into the wool, and now they have follow patterned orders. The natural dye processes that are becoming extinct. This then spread to a look at how we are losing everything that we have based our society on- the birth, marriage, proper life and death.
This collection is titled “It Chooses You,” taken from Miranda July’s latest book. She’s grappling with the same idea I am- that you can’t just throw someone’s life away. My best friends moved into a top floor apartment in Greenpoint. An elderly woman had died, and the apartment was filled with the past fifty years, her entire life. Her one remaining family member had taken the jewelry and nothing else. It was left up to us to go through her things. I held her wedding photo album from 1953 in my arms and then took her wedding dress to the dry cleaner. I used her pots to cook the dyes for my collection. I took her curtains and made them into skirts and suits. I felt like, someone has to remember her. When you die, who will give you a legacy? If it is not the people you know and loved? Is it up to a twenty-three year old girl who stumbles into your mothball-scented apartment and treats it like a treasure chest?
2+7: What is it to be a modern woman when you don”t own your body?
MMD: Your body belongs to the world, and you belong somewhere else. You are essentially body-less. You become what’s around you. The carpet, the curtains. You can get walked all over. You can get hung up on things. We are living in a society of post-femininity. When in a traditional sense, a man is no longer the perfect foil, who do you dress against? What is a woman without a perfect and equal opposite? (Newton’s third law: The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear.) When your opposite is no longer opposing, when it becomes another part of the emotional ocean- you become a better foil to the women you surround yourself with. Trying to pay homage to something. To the crumbling world, to a stranger. Bringing to life someone’s forgotten handiwork, someone’s forgotten life. Giving a dead woman a legacy. Giving the feminine a legacy.
MMD: It definitely brings a whole new set of challenges, cutting and sewing three hundred years of dirt and grime. I pinched a nerve cutting carpet. Forty days and forty nights later, I still have no feeling in the tip of my thumb.
MMD: A bit of both. Im young and experimenting, and I don’t really have anything to lose. I hope that people come to see it because they appreciate my vision, not to see a trend interpretation.
MMD: Every collection deals with a set of questions with a conceptual structure. There have been so many grand sea changes in my life since I started my line: the pendulum swings and I have a new outlook. There is a thread of continuity- within the shapes, the use of print, the styling, the approach to dressing. But it will never be the same.