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Annabel Leech

A girl suspended in rope by MA Fashion student Annabel Leech
A girl suspended in rope by MA Fashion student Annabel Leech
Work by MA Fashion student Annabel Leech, showing a girl tied up with plastic strips.

My work explores the relationship between fashion and subculture by drawing inspiration from my involvement in human suspension and Shibari (Japanese rope bondage).

Human suspension is a practise of lifting the body into the air with ropes attached to piercings through the skin. Although it has connotations of horror, it is often performed for its euphoric, meditative effects and powerful artistry. It has become an international subculture, but dates back thousands of years and is performed during the Hindu Thaipusam festival.

Shibari is a process of tying and knotting rope around the body and is often combined with human suspension. This technique forms the foundation of my garments. The discovery of this art form led to the exploration and development of knotting processes such as macramé which are worked between the rope by hand. Combining these skills has allowed me to develop a method of garment construction that is new and unique to me.

My research subjects have not only inspired me but provided a platform for self-discovery allowing me to explore the unknown and push through many personal boundaries. I have entered a world that is often misunderstood, and by expressing it through my work I hope to evoke emotion and encourage curiosity.

Lizzie Starling

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