My English class just finished reading Paradise Lost, and one of our assignments for it was to create a visual project that reflects the epic. Since we had spoken a lot about the way that Satan transforms and how he looks, I decided to make a collage of Paradise Lost images through fashion images. Here’s what I did:
For my Paradise Lost project I created a collage that reflects Satan’s temptation by the beauty of Paradise. Watching Adam and Eve in Eden triggers his envy of their happiness and closeness to God, and he seethes with jealousy. Through photographs of fashion runway shows I demonstrated the way that we too can be tempted by what we think will bring us happiness, such as clothes or material possessions.
Satan’s transformation into a lion is symbolized through the gold ring on the bottom right of the collage. I found this lion to be particularly striking because of the way it offers a luxurious jewel to the innocent angel next to it. This foreshadows the way that Satan will offer an apple to Eve in an equally tempting way when he changes into a serpent later in the epic. To represent the serpent, I added a photograph from Creatures of Comfort’s Spring 2013 look book and a red L’Wren Scott dress, both featuring snake prints.
The softest images in the collage represent the Garden of Eden. Photographs from a Dolce & Gabbana show several seasons ago focus on the beautiful nature of Eden with dresses that look like bouquets of flowers. A shoe from the same designer in the left corner of the page begins to mix Satan’s thoughts with what he sees. Seeing Adam and Eve’s freedom in Eden, Satan admits that he feels constricted and unsatisfied with his life in Hell. The pillars of the shoes mirror his sentiment, as they look like bars on a prison wall that the flowers are unable to pass through.
Another Dolce & Gabbana collection from Fall/Winter 2013 concentrated heavily on religion through well-known artwork, and I used their looks to symbolize the presence and power of God in the epic as well as the importance of being faithful to him. To symbolize God in a more personal and modern way, I included the faces of the designers themselves as they walk out under a tree at the end of one of their fashion shows. The designers represent modern forms of idolism and symbolize the way we look up to and practically worship certain people in society. In contrast, I also used an image of John Galliano, who recently lost his job as a designer at Dior and became shunned by the public for making anti-Semitic statements. He is standing in front of a photo of outer space, which signifies the way that we cast out those who rebel against our beliefs, similarly to the way Satan was sent to Hell after rebelling against God.