Women's History Month: The inspiring women behind the new collection
by Dylan Watkiss, Communications Intern SALOME designs
Highlighting the inspiration and women behind the new collection: The Natural Renaissance; this beautiful collection is a blend of symbolism and sustainability. Inspired by art, conservation, female empowerment, and family, these portraits tell a story while beautifully presenting our timeless designs and elevating the women who created the collection and the sitters who inspired them into works of art.
The portrait of our founder, Kellie Daniels, was inspired by portraits of Queen Elizabeth I. Representing leadership and protection while paying homage to the past, these portraits share more than just a strong girl boss. Our brand, SALOME, named after Kellie’s mother, is heavily inspired by both family and the importance of preserving the environment for the next generation. Kellie is wearing her mother’s high school graduation ring in her portrait to symbolise the eternal connection between mother and daughter and as a nod to the portrait of Queen Elizabeth from her coronation portrait (where she is said to have worn a ring from her mother, Anne Boyln). Both portrait sitters use their image and complex symbolism to tell an origin story and connect with their audience to convey their future aspirations.
Claire Luxton, the photographer for this collection, was inspired by The Portrait of a Young Woman by Sandro Botticelli. During the Renaissance era, women were often shown in extravagant jewels and clothing to symbolize their social rank, marital status and gender and it was thought that "hair inflames desire and that the viewer of this portrait would have no choice but to fall in love.
This self portrait of artist Claire Luxton lures the viewer into her world as she holds a symbolic representation of knowledge in her hand. The apple in Renaissance portraits symbolised many things from youth and vitality to knowledge and abundance and of course temptation and desire, but unlike the Botticelli she is in control. The viewer is asked to review their relationship with both women and the world and to reflect on what they choose to elevate within it.
Another piece of art that inspired this collection is The Game of Chess made in 1555 by Renaissance artist Sofonisba Anguissola. It shows three young sisters playing chess and laughing. Much like other paintings of women of this era, the girls are dressed in their best clothes which symbolize high social status and the girls' talent to create beautiful clothing and accessories. Unlike other paintings from this time; they are doing something that requires intelligence, and is predominantly a game played by men. This painting symbolizes female empowerment; not only are the young girls able to embroider like the best of them but they are smart and prepared to play a man's game and win; symbolizing the artist herself winning at her craft in a very man's world.
The theme of family in Renaissance portraits was common and we drew on this tradition to display the close connection between the sisters and the constant support they provide to their mother, SALOME founder Kellie Daniels. There is a longing in their direct gaze; pleading with the viewer to consider the next generation when making decisions today about the future of both female empowerment and the world they will inherit.
Visit https://salomedesigns.co.uk/collections/natural-renaissance today and find out more about the inspiring women and sitters behind our new collection.