The New York Woman. Puppets And Puppets SS23

In just four years Puppets and Puppets has evolved from a fashion project by an artist to a bona fide fashion brand. Carly Mark’s Eyes Wide Shut-inspired spring 2023 collection was arguably her most wearable. What seems to be happening is that the designs are becoming more aligned with Mark herself, concurrent with her development as an entrepreneur. The designer made the switch to fashion because she was feeling isolated in the art world. “I like interacting with humans,” she explained at a preview. “So I knew I wanted to do something creative, but it needed to be in a way where I was interacting with other bodies and having conversations.” The name she gave the brand is a reference to a cyberpunk anime called Ghost in the Shell; over time her inspirations have become ever more cinematic. And there is a shift from a more illustrative take on clothing to a more photographic one, both in a metaphorical and literal sense. The “demon” print in the spring line-up, which looks anatomical, is actually a manipulated still from the movie Scrooge. If that seems random, you might recall that Eyes Wide Shut is set at Christmas time. This print shares space in the collection with a jacquard based on Gustave Doré’s engravings of Dante’s Inferno and a sweater with an abstract orgy theme (another reference to Stanley Kubrick’s film). The final look features moonbows that call attention to the bust at the same time that volume emphasizes the hips. One of the reasons the designer took Eyes Wide Shut as her inspiration was because Nicole Kidman was such a powerful presence. In one of the scenes in which the actress revealed her strength she was physically vulnerable, wearing only high-cut panties and a camisole. “I’ve been thinking about Nicole Kidman specifically this season because I just turned 34 and I’m growing a business and I’m growing my confidence; I have to in order to run a business,” Mark said. “So I think about being a woman who is sexual, and business minded, and living in a city, and trying to hold my own, and trying to be intelligent, and trying to connect with other people. It’s hard, and it’s funny, and it’s fun, and it’s difficult – and it’s all the things.”

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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