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Fashionable Easter egg how-to: Our managing editor Christina Reynolds on making runway-inspired designs for the April issue

Elle Canada
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Fashionable Easter egg how-to: Our managing editor Christina Reynolds on making runway-inspired designs for the April issue

A snapshot of the new #fashionplay page in our April issue. Can you guess the runway-inspired Easter egg designs?

We all know that fashion imitates both life and art, so leave it to our managing editor Christina Reynolds to translate Spring/Summer 2013 runway trends into stylish oeuvres just in time for Easter. For ELLE Canada's inaugural #fashionplay page, Reynolds created designs inspired by Prada, Louis Vuitton and Proenza Schouler spring collections using the traditional methods of the Ukrainian Easter egg craft. Here, we find out first hand how the intricate patterns were hatched for our spring photo shoot. When did you start this traditional craft? "I was really little when I learned how to make Ukrainian Easter eggs, like early elementary school, from my baba—my grandmother—and my mom. I learned it before you would start to think, ‘would it be good for kids to be playing with candles?’ But there was always adult supervision!" Read on to find out how Christina translated Spring/Summer 2013 runway looks into fashionable Easter eggs! How did you recreate Proenza Schouler and Prada patterns on an eggshell? "So you have a candle, beeswax and a kiska, which is basically like a like a metal pen that has a holding area for wax. You then heat it up over the candle, dip it into the wax, and a little stream of wax comes out and you write on the egg with it. I always like to describe it as batik, but on an egg. You can use old-school, traditional kiskas or an electric one, which writes a little bit more smoothly and finely, depending on the day!"

The tools (kiskas) Christina used to make the Easter eggs. Photo by Dianna Pawlik.

How long does it take to make one? "It’s hard to tell because you don’t typically work on one at a time, and you have to let them dry between dyeing—so let’s say hours! You could do a simple egg in a couple of hours, or an elaborate egg could take you all day. There’s also no erasing, so if wax splatters on the egg, you can't scratch it off and keep going. So when that happens, you have to ask yourself whether you can live with it, or just start over. The worst is when you’re done an egg and you’re holding it, and slips just a few centimetres from your hands, and cracks. They’re very delicate, but that’s kind of the fun of it." Any unfortunate casualties along the way? "I broke one - it was of the Dior skirt with the beautiful abstract flowers in white with pink and blue. I was just taking the wax off of it and it slipped from my fingers and cracked. And I didn’t want to re-do it, so I did some other designs instead." How did you translate runway looks to the Easter egg designs? "It was tricky -I tried several times to do a Mary Katrantzou with the different, intricate lines, and I could do the designs really well, but I couldn’t quite get the colours I wanted. And I wanted people to be able to look at the egg on the #fashionplay page and know right away which designer it matches. I did a fourth one, a Mulberry design - they had a beautiful pattern with little lizards curled around flowers - you can see that one on our #storyboard page in the front of the book. But it just didn’t translate well on the back #fashionplay page because it’s a detail of the pattern, and you wouldn't really be able to see that reflected on the small runway image we could put beside the egg."

What the egg-dyeing process looks like. Pretty psychedelic, no? Photo by Dianna Pawlik.

Do you have a favourite egg from the fashion set? "The Proenza Schouler one is my favourite, I just really love the colours." How hard was it to see your designs being cracked for the shoot? "The cracking was actually done through Photoshop! It was decided after a big debate, so thankfully, the eggs survived. I think it would be fun to do a fashion egg collection every year. Looking at runway images is a great inspiration point for any kind of creative outlet - from eggs, to painting, to anything!"
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Fashionable Easter egg how-to: Our managing editor Christina Reynolds on making runway-inspired designs for the April issue