“Who is P?” asks the text printed on several of this collection’s shirts; the answer to which is the essence of PARIAH CORP.’s debut collection titled Nosferatu. It is in reference to the 1922 silent film of the same name, which is a quintessential work of horror and the first cinematic adaptation of Dracula. There are a hundred years between that Nosferatu and PARIAH CORP.’s Nosferatu but the theme of darkness and mystery remains just as seductive.
Horror is subtly yet deeply incorporated into every aspect of the collection. The silhouettes of the outerwear pieces distort the wearer’s bodily proportions through split sleeves and emphatic shoulder padding. Raised collars and raw hems add to a feeling of evil, wrapped up in jackets which look like vampire capes.
There are exposed copies of two key pieces, the Orlok Jacket and the Spiked Pants, made from Organza to showcase their detailing and construction. Each spike is stuffed precisely, each shoulder padded to produce an ominous silhouette. The fabric warps proportions and veils the body like an apparition, interacting peculiarly with light due to its translucency.
A wide range of materials are used to provide the body with different guises under which it can hide. Linen drapes effortlessly while faux crocodile leather rigidly suits its wearer with jagged edges. The shape of the coffin acts as a key motif throughout the collection, featured across the crotch stitching on the pants, in the forms of the jewellery and eyewear, and the silhouettes of the mule shoes.
A smiling devil appears on a range of spacious linen pieces courtesy of artist @notmushu, who was commissioned to create a series of his signature demonic characters for the project.
In addition to the vampiric influences, there is clearly an air of punk around Nosferatu. Inspired by the work of Vivienne Westwood, the sharp tailoring is paired with bold graphics and messages referencing an anti-establishment attitude. Through the use of appropriated posters, the collection subverts ideas of the media, branding, politics and availability in fashion.
The collection is captured in a series of stark photographs with harsh flashes and shadows highlighting the drama of PARIAH CORP.’s vision. Pinhead from Hellraiser is channelled through spikes of all sizes protruding every part of the collection, from the graphics, to the garments, to the hair styling.
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Nosferatu is a collection of shock and fantasy. The colours clash, the fabrics contrast, and a wide set of references is spun into a sinuous web. Underneath looming shoulders, ominous silhouettes, spikes and horns, there lies but a trace of an answer to “who is P?”. Something strange; something powerful; something mysterious; something that pulls its viewer into its wearer’s world; something that needs no description.