Photography, installation, artist book, ready-made, embroidery
I am checking a makeup bag to discover an outdated lipstick of my mother, her eyeshadows and blush. Randomly I am pulling out of the storage a suitcase stuffed with shoes to find a pair of short supply Yugoslavian high heels bought back in the 1980s. I am searching through a bunch of boxes in a family shed to explore my mother’s old wardrobe and my elder sister’s suits: mainly colorful dresses, either purchased in a Soviet department store or sewn in a tailor shop and at home.
When a child, hardly could I wait for our apartment to become deserted. I would likewise open the closet to alternate the outfits and spin in front of the mirror imagining myself as an adult. Since I reached the age of my mother after she had given birth to me, I repeatedly go through the redundant things. Now I can wear them without any fear of being caught underway.
I put on the lipstick, which is falling off and burning my skin. I pull bundles with pieces of my grandmother’s fabric out of the sewing machine. For decades she kept them and after all never managed to sew anything. I flip through fashion magazines published in the 1970s and 1980s, which formed my first ideas of beauty and female representation in the 1990s.
I stand in front of the mirror, craving to recall the images of all the women in my family at once. I do that to figure out how they perceived their bodies and sexuality. I repeat the ritual over and over, replicating the memorized poses, echoing the foreshortenings.
After that I cut out the pieces of old fabric and turn them into new garments. This time they neither belong to other people, nor stem from my mother’s wardrobe. I create my own clothes; these dresses are about me.
In the Lookbook project Anastasia Bogomolova combined offcuts of cloth left by her grandmother with colorful dresses from her mother’s wardrobe, 1980s fashion magazines, and clothing made for her using old patterns and vintage fabrics and tries on these outfits. Borrowing the lookbook format from fashion, where the term refers to a brand’s seasonal collection, in her installations and the eponymous photobook, Bogomolova reconstructs the beauty ideals of past eras, demonstrating an amazing transformability. The game of disguise, in the spirit of children’s imitation of adults, is in Bogomolova’s case driven by the desire to understand the notions of the body and sexuality inherited from previous generations and to recognize herself in them.