Marie Marguerite Rose: A Story of Early-Colonial French Chic and Emancipation…

By dr. Mark Joseph O’Connell, My recent post from the Seneca Canadian Fashion Diversity Project: This is Charlene Chasse she has worked as a historical re-enactor with Parks Canada for the past nineteen years. She states of herself:…”I knit, I sew, I cook and I do hot yoga.” She also brings to life the fascinating historical figure of one Marie Marguerite Rose… Fig. 1, “Charlene Chasse portraying Marie Marguerite Rose”, https://www.facebook.com/CanadaC3/photos/i-portray-marie-marguerite-rose-shes-a-freed-slave-she-gets-her-freedom-in-1755-/388351961562977/ The legacy of the fashion artifacts left behind inRead more

Rodeo References

Refences for my Rodeo book series: “Cockettes Founder Hibiscus Dies in New York; 300 Other Cases Reported” Body Politic (85). 1982. Toronto. July–August:16. “Fashion Between the New and the Forgotten: Rose Bertin” 2020. Fashion Heritage. fashionheritage.eu. https://fashionheritage.eu/fashion-between-the-new-and-the-forgotten-rose-bertin/#:~:text=’,-Pariser%20Coeffuren%3A%20Chien&text=%E2%80%9CIl%20n’y%20a%20de,except%20what%20has%20been%20forgotten.) “Founder of Cockettes, Hibiscus, Dead of GRID”. 1982. Advocate, June 1982 (345): 12. “Halston Part 1”. 2009. Designer Marathon Volume 5. Videofashion. Accessed May 6, “A Wall Street Journal News Roundup. 1970. “Moribund Midi: Woeful Retailers Say the Lower the Hem, the Lower the Sales Women Call itRead more

Death Climb to Serenity: Tepoztlán, Morelos

I visited the Mexican hillside community of Tepoztlán. Located in the state of Morelos the town is about an hour and a half from Mexico City. I was there to investigate local textile production and distribution, and I took the opportunity to explore the community and local territory. The town turned out to be both an engaging and beautiful locale. The air is clear, the townspeople are welcoming and there is a local population of healers and mystics, both indigenousRead more

The Ruins at Mitla, a Legacy of Proto Surface Design

On the advice of friends from the weaving community of Santa Ana del Valle, I visited the Zapotec architectural ruins at Mitla, about an hour from Oaxaca City, Mexico. Like many legacies of pre-Hispanic cultures much of the site was taken apart and used to build new buildings that supported the visual supremacy of conquering forces. What is significant however is what has been left. The walls of the ruins are made of decorative repeating motifs, or “grecas” in Spanish.Read more

Visiting the Studios of Zapotec Weavers in Santa Ana del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico

Carpets woven in Mexico today use design elements found at historical sites in the vicinity of their manufacture, and local indigenous weaving techniques function within an unbroken line of traditional familial wisdom. The weaving culture of the Zapotec Nation of Oaxaca now exists at the juncture of multivalent competing visual, economic and cultural mediators, which makes for a compelling case study to examine the impacts of globalization, as well as the preservation of creative and cultural autonomy. Textile weaving isRead more

Natural Dye Intensive: San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico

In February of 2019 I participated in a natural dye intensive taught by sustainable fashion designer and master dyer Nereida Bonmati of Naive Slow Fashion, at the Tlapanochestli Grana Cochinillia in San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. During this fascinating and academically rigorous engagement with the practical application of natural dyes I learned about the following natural dyestuffs: pericone; brazilwood; huizache; cochineal; and añil (indigo). I also learned about the history of natural dyeing in Mexico, the history of cochineal (preRead more

Night Time on the Wild Patch

Night Time on the Wild Patch A short film on my performative art installation, created during a residency at the Centre for Creative Communication at Centennial College Toronto, Canada (2010). This piece engages with my own counter-temporal processes of grieving. The catalyst for making this piece was the premature loss of my friend Marianne. Grieving her, I felt the memories of other friends; friends lost to me due to addiction, AIDS and accident. The grief came and went, ebbing andRead more

Captive Animals

“Speed and efficiency are not in themselves signs of intelligence or capability or correctness. They do not carry with them any moral value. They don’t necessarily make any social contribution. The most horrifying, violent moments of the twentieth century have centered around regimes wedded to efficiency and to speed” (John Ralston Saul, 2013: 260). “Born Ready” @Mark O’Connell 2017 Michael Snow’s flock of Canada Geese perpetually take flight, their frustrated bid for freedom encased in a great glass ceilinged atriumRead more