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  • The Marcel

Mclean, Flora, 2010, Art or design object, The Marcel

Abstract or Description:

The Marcel is a millinery design by McLean based on the 1920s Marcel Wave hairstyle. It is part of the Iconic Heads project, a long-running collaboration between McLean and hairdresser Neil Moodie.
McLean designed and realised a close-fitting wool cloche hat, shaped and cut to reference the iconic bob cut that has become emblematic of a modernist sensibility. The formal references and material of the hat present a nature–-culture dialectic. The choice of wool (an overtly natural material) for fabrication sits in contrast with the obvious artifice of the original hairstyle. The bright yellow colour of the hat alludes to the introduction of peroxide to bleach hair artificially.
The Marcel is one of a series of McLean’s designs which explore the potential of millinery as fashion-culture statement and design accessory. Research involved developing an in-depth understanding of the social context and semiotics of particular hairstyles through popular culture and film and fashion history. For The Marcel this included researching the Marcel Wave’s appearance in film, news and photojournalism, and developing an understanding of its social status and associated meanings.
McLean’s design featured in the ‘Millinery in Motion’ show at the V&A Museum’s exhibition ‘Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones’ (2009) and the Design Museum book, Fifty Hats that Changed the World (2011). McLean was a winner of the 2010 Jerwood Contemporary Makers; The Marcel featured in the associated exhibition at the Jerwood Space, London, later touring to Dovecot Gallery, Edinburgh and Naughton Gallery, Belfast (2010). Carole Denford of The Hat Magazine, described the work of McLean and three of her UK contemporaries thus: ‘I’ve been in this business for nearly 30 years, and there have been other waves of statement-making milliners, but this one is somehow more explicit. They are the Schiaparellis of our day’ (New York Times, 2011).

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W230 Clothing/Fashion Design
Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts > W710 Fabric and Leather Crafts
School or Centre: School of Material
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2013 20:02
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2017 14:49
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1456

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