Broach, Z. and Kirby, B. 2007. Couture. Romanian Embassy, 5 Rue de L’Exposition, Paris 75007 25 Jan 2007

CreatorsBroach, Z. and Kirby, B.

Couture comprises eleven outfits staged during Paris Haute Couture week in the faded grandeur of the C18th Romanian Embassy, Paris. The looks ranged from pure minimalism (the ultimate jacket and monolithic silhouette) to utter fantasy (the extremities of romance and excess). As Boudicca’s first entry into the world of couture, the research process aimed to explore the boundaries between ready-to-wear

and couture to discover the point at which fashion shifts from being a product to an investment, from product design to fine art.

Process became key, and for this project every decision was a conceptual, informed choice and every element was uniquely

sourced: the best fabrics, regardless of cost; quality time given to styling and construction, with individual elements remade

many times and put together montage-style until ‘perfection’ had been achieved. Thus the best cashmere was sourced from an

Italian supplier, and pads for coat epaulettes were re-sculpted by hand time and time again. Time itself became a feature of the

collection with, for example, one outfit boasting hand-crafted silver buttons individually date and time-stamped to reflect the

precise moment at which they were made, thereby alluding to the complex sets of relationships between time and ‘value’ within

the art and fashion worlds.

Research for the collection drew on artist designers rather than fashion design history, with an eclectic range of sources,

including Leonardo da Vinci, the symbolist and surrealist movements (notably Leonora Carrington and Dorothy Tanning),

alongside such diverse influences as Sophie Calle, Victor Burgin, Jorge Luis Borges and old car magazines.

Paris haute couture week is the fashion world’s ultimate prestigious venue, and the honour of being invited to show there has

only been accorded to five independent design companies before. The Boudicca show made front page headlines in the

Independent (26.1.07); The Times (26.1.07) and inside pages Daily Telegraph (26.1.07) and Vogue May 2007.

Boudicca comprises Zowie Broach and Brian Kirby, who work as a duo, collaborating on all aspects of the research and creative


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Related outputs

Love and war: the weaponised woman
Broach, Z. and Kirby, B. 2006. Love and war: the weaponised woman. New York 09 Sep - 16 Dec 2006

Hunter gatherer
Broach, Z. and Kirby, B. 2006. Hunter gatherer. 17 Feb 2004

The Fashion of Architecture: Constructing the Architecture of Fashion
Broach, Z. 2006. The Fashion of Architecture: Constructing the Architecture of Fashion. Center for Architecture, New York 11 Jan - 11 Mar 2006

New constructs
Broach, Z. and Adjaye, D. 2004. New constructs. Vogue UK.

Skin tight: the sensibility of the flesh
Broach, Z. and Kirby, B. 2004. Skin tight: the sensibility of the flesh.

Boudicca, SS:02 collection
Broach, Z. and Kirby, B. 2002. Boudicca, SS:02 collection. V&A Museum, London 29 Nov 2002

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