Stanton Cornish-Ward is a Melbourne-based fashion design practitioner, currently undertaking her honours year of her Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at RMIT University. She uses fashion design as a conceptual framework to examine and question cultural and social bias of clothing. Her work explores gender identity through the creation of gender-neutral garments, and uses aspects of psychology to analyse clothing as a form of emotional protection. Cornish-Ward uses installation and film to recontextualise fashion as a visual language.
Her fashion film, The Immaculate Reflection of an Impure World, won Best New Talent at the Copenhagen Fashion Film Festival 2016, and she was a finalist in Roma Web Fest 2015.
‘The Immaculate Reflection of an Impure Word’
2015. Single channel video, 5:24 minutes.
White is a universal symbol of cleanliness. Objects that are expected to be clean, such as bed linen and towels, doctors’ coats and hospitals, are traditionally white. It’s a Western symbol of purity (white lilies, snow, moonlight), the empyrean realm (the absence of image, an absolute void), reflection, candour, surrender and an end to conflict.
White, however, isn’t only tied to the perfect, the divine and the innocent. In Eastern cultures it is the colour of death and mourning, the supernatural and unexplained. White is the colour of reincarnation, showing that death is not a permanent separation the world. Western culture, too, recognises the white of ghosts and the pallor of death. In the Last Judgment, Death rides a white horse.
For Kandinsky, white is the harmony of silence, and in music it shows the pauses that break: “It is not a dead silence, but one pregnant with possibilities.”