Elisabeth Lecourt’s Delicate Wanderlust Dresses

by Emma Orlow

There’s an organized chaos to maps–historical scriptures with winding, inter-twining, sometimes nonsensical patterns, laid out way before our time that have somehow maintained their relevance and vitality. But there’s also a temporality to these papers that artist Elisabeth Lecourt seeks to explore in her art. All of Lecourt’s works have a form of emotional fragility to them, but particularly in her latest series, “Les Robes Geographique,” wanderlust manifests in the sartorial. “Les Robes Geographique” is a more sculptural endeavor for the drawer/painter, but follows many of Lecourt’s key themes of ephemerality and nostalgia by turning old maps into origami dresses. 

Lecourt grew up in the Southwest of France at the bottom of the mountains. When she was little, she read a poster which said “There is no such a thing as a happy childhood,” however, imagination remained key to her upbringing and she got great pleasure out of drawing. This attachment to innocence emanates in the parochial schoolgirl shapes of the map dresses. 

In all senses, the maps can represent a bond to home: leaving her old home and moving to a new country, and growing up tied to childhood. Each map she uses marks a milestone in Lecourt’s life (spanning from France to the UK) or a different part of her fanciful soul. I wish I could have my own wearable wanderlusts in all of her beautiful map dresses, but alas, in part, it is their temporality that makes them so special.  The dresses, like the maps themselves, are organized by region, and are meant to be on display rather than worn. For more on Elisabeth Lecourt’s work, click here

Images courtesy of Elisabeth Lecourt

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