There’s an inherent duality sewn into Roberts Wood’s aesthetic. Take the brand’s blending of light fabrics like organza and netting, with intricately hand-crafted embellishments, ruffles and pleats; its interplay of opaque and translucent layers, or its combination of hand-linked techniques and digital prints.
Now, the London based-label – which presented its debut collection for S/S 2016 – has unveiled a new film for its S/S 2019 collection. Titled Melanphoria a term devised by its founder Katie Roberts-Wood to describe the combined feelings of euphoria and melancholy, the film is divided into four chapters, and here we can exclusively reveal the second instalment.
Roberts Wood’s collections convey a sense of discovery, and encapsulate the honing of new techniques and embellishments. Take its S/S 2019 offering, which features a new digitally woven jacquard constructed from silk, linen and cotton, and a floral print which appears to melt and recede across a garment. When creating the film, visual artist Amanda Camenisch was fascinated by this idea of self-realisation, drawing inspiration from the alchemical acronym V.I.T.R.I.O.L, represented by a symbol depicting seven stages in a circle, which lead to self realisation.
V.I.T.R.I.O.L stands for the phrase ‘visit the interior of the earth and by rectifying and integrating what you find there you will discover the hidden stone’. The second chapter ‘Terra’, referring to this earth, is a collage-like overlay of moving images shot on 16mm film, inspired by what Camenisch describes as ‘science, history, pop culture and art.’ She looked to a variety of references in her research, ranging from Seventies educational films, Kate Bush video clips, experimental films by Derek Jarman and Twenties still movies by Man Ray. The result is an avant-garde assemblage of earthy scenes, a model interacting with the natural environment, sculpting clay and throwing rocks, abstract shapes and cerebral depictions of the bow-detail, gingham and hand-linked ‘honeycomb’ embellishments in the collection.