Talk of setting up a 'gentlewoman's club' on my Twitter has spawned from my current life as a freelancer that occasionally goes doolally in her own home. Put it down to having too much of my own company. With no one to bounce things off of, you somehow get into a state of mind where at one part of the day you'll think it's totally normal to be creating t-shirt art out of smeared Marmite. At a less extreme and yeasty end of the scale, you just suddenly start going all "artsy" and think that playing around with acrylics, a sponge and a spare silk slip is a fruitful outcome of the day, a form of compensation for all those hours you spent on a Wikipedia trail which started off at Lance Bass and ended up on Bruce Forsyth.
Still, whatever creative japes I get up to in my hours of procrastination, will never result in the free-fall anger-pent drawings that Natalie B Coleman has come up with for her S/S 11 collection 'Damaged Goods', which I first saw in Berlin's Projekt Galerie showroom during their fashion week. The 'damaged' part comes to play in the girls that Coleman depicts looking a wee bit broken. Transferred onto curved seam dresses, simple crop tops and vests though and they provide the perfect solid foundations for Coleman's weakened beings and ghostly watercoloured femmes to live on quite happily. Some of the titles of the drawings ensure everything is pretty transparent... no prizes for matching up the drawings to these...
Isn't it sad when a dancer gets fat…
I took it like medicine
I cut it off to spite you
Along with the hand painted and printed whites, Coleman has also supplemented the collection with a lot of that sheer stuff. I'm not going to read too deep here because I may have the wrong end of the stick but perhaps there's some meaning to the amount of exposure in these clothes, especially when paired with the drawings. There's a 'Same Old' leotard that again, provides a more literal clue. Is it wrong that female-based disgruntlement plays out into clothes that I'm calling cute?