Jennifer FM Murray

Fashion

‘If Jesus were the Ringmaster and the Pope resembled the status of a White Face Joe Clown, Cardinals were helpers just like Augustin Clowns, then wouldn’t Bishops, Canons and Priests be supporting acts such as Acrobats, Dwarfs, Horse riders? Aren’t Believers an audience, don’t routines resemble rituals and aren’t we all just a little entertained?’

This quotation belongs to Jennifer FM Murray’s graduate menswear collection Cirque d’Amen, in which she considers the role of religious institutions in modern society. The iconography of the Catholic Church assumes an important position in Murray’s collection. Her lavish designs allude to the performative nature of religious traditions, expanding on themes of image-making and appearance. Murray identifies parallels between the church and the circus, and her graduate collection effectively embodies some of their shared features – individualism, exclusivity, boldness and opulence.

Murray holds an MA in Fashion Design Technology from London College of Fashion. Her work reveals a particular interest in the creative challenges that arise from the increasing interactions between the fashion industry and technological innovation. Sponsored by Kopenhagen Fur, Murray was given the rare opportunity to explore new techniques with ethically sourced fur. For Murray fashion tech is primarily about experimenting with authentic fabrics in order to achieve advanced fashion garments with a sense of depth. Collaborating closely with Preciosa, a Czech jewellery company and leading producer of cut crystal, Murray’s innovative pieces sensitively combine wearable technology with spiritual and historical references. Cirque d’Amen comprises an array of culturally reminiscent shapes and textiles – Preciosa crystals, British silks and Italian suiting – all of which together provide the collection with a seductive air of extravagance.

showtime.arts.ac.uk/jenrally

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