House of Canney launches Kickstarter for Huzzah!Rev Created by wilhelminaframe on 8/5/2013 11:27:36 PM
Fashion designer Anthony Canney of House of Canney launches a Kickstarter campaign for his latest collection Huzzah!Rev. Editrix de Mode Wilhelmina Frame talks to Mr. Canney about the collections' inspirations and goals.
Known for his bespoke corsets, intricate tailoring and historical flair, fashion desginer Anthony Canney of House of Canney, is a fashion star of the American Steampunk community. His techinical skill and fashion innovation never ceases to impress whenever his work hits the runway. Mr. Canney's new collection, Huzzah!Rev takes him in a new historical direction, referencing not the Victorian of Steampunk, but the 18th Century fashion from the era of the American Revolution. In order to further his ambitious vision and make it ready for a debut later this year at Teslacon, Canney has launched a Kickstarter campaign which ends on August 13, 2013 and is more than half way to its goal. Editrix de Mode Wilhelmina Frame interviewed Anthony about Huzzah!Rev and his crowdfunding efforts.
What is the inspiration for Huzzah!Rev?
The starting point for Huzzah!Rev really grew from the political climate around the world today which parallels that of the past. I am always inspired how history, not unlike fashion, repeats itself. But the seed for this collection really planted itself while I was reading The Politics of Fashion in 18th Century America by Kate Haulman. So many of the struggles that early British Americans went through before the American Revolution mirrored that in which are going through in our nation today. Whether it has to do with human rights issues like slavery, or taxation, fashion played a part in exposing weakness within our society. Fashion had become a pawn to politics, far beyond the taxation on imports but every trend and style choice brought about its own questions of loyalty. This created a push to support domestic goods and production to get back at British taxes, though it proved greatly unsuccessful; it is something we are seeing a push towards again. We have sent so many jobs over seas in the past and with the expansion of the makers movement thanks to Steampunk, we are seeing more and more people being more conscious of not just WHAT they spend, but where that money goes and how much they are getting out of it in the long run. It's those little things that really add up to start a revolution and that's what this collection is really about. It's about freeing ourselves from the shackles of what society tries to enforce upon us, getting back to nature, and finding joy in that freedom.
How is this collection different than your previous outings?
My last two collections focused quite heavily on the Victorian Era which can get rather stuffy visually. While I love those styles and grew up on Civil War battlefields sometimes you just have to step away from a genre and tackle something from another place in time. The 18th century just seemed fitting seeing as that's when the first fashion "magazines" started to be published. It's when our own nation came into being, and if you want to talk about Steampunk, that's when the first steam engines began to be invented. I am not unfamiliar with the Georgian Era. I grew up in the port city of Savannah and had my first pair of breeches by the age of seven to celebrate General Oglethorpe landing in 1733 and founding Georgia. I realize that pushing myself further back in time could make it easy to slip into super stuffy and theatrical looks that you could only get away with wearing at a convention. I hope to push this collection outside of that box by including more versatile mix and match pieces like denim pants and hooded shirts, along with modern details like buckles and zippers to add a more contemporary urban punk vibe. Including pieces that are more accessible should also help others to see themselves in pieces from the collection, and hopefully wearing it out in everyday life where it can be appropriated the most.
What kind of historical details will you use in your pieces?
Well it would not be the House of Canney without women and men in corsets, and the late 18th century is the perfect inspiration for innovation in corsets, or what we should properly refer to as stays. Beyond that expect finally crafted pieces with a mix of historical construction techniques mixed right along side modern elements.
How does the historical referencing of the fashion on the late 18th century reflect on modern sensibilities?
While not modern per say, Japanese Lolita fashion is heavily inspired by 18th Century Court Costume. However this collection is not about the Venise lace and satin bows of the "Court Dresses" of Europe, but the wearable and FUNCTIONAL fashions of early Americans of all classes. The elongated lines of the era work well with the way modern dress has moved; longer vests that sit low on the hips for men, open neck lines and elbow length sleeves for women. While I envision a couple full skirts the lengths are kept shorter to allow for greater movement and nod to other eras of liberation.
Why did you decide to use Kickstarter for this collection?
I have funded my previous collections out of pocket. While that works when I am building a four to five piece collection over the length of a year or more, it just did not seem possible to do it again. Trying to balance a personal collection with the reality of commissions and paid work is very difficult. So I figured it was the right time to try a new tactic. If successful this will also allow me concentrate, to really flesh out concepts, creating a full rounded collection and to actually be able to afford what I envision and not compromise the designs.
What will the funding from Kickstarter allow you to accomplish?
The success of my Kickstarter it would allow me to create seven (versus four or five) SOLID looks for men and women from the Huzzah!Rev collection while getting word out about this exciting collection. It will also allow me to push every aspect of the collection, from design, to production, and even to having the garments photographed by professionals. My main goal is to make unique, innovative and wearable pieces people will love and want to wear, not just at a convention, but any day that they want to lead. I am inspired by the past to create timeless pieces that will speak volumes regardless of when or where they are worn.
Why are you launching this collection at TeslaCon?
Why NOT?! TeslaCon is the TOP steampunk convention and I would not want to show it first anywhere else. But it does not hurt that this year's theme is The Congress of Steam, so the political revolutionist feel of Huzzah!Rev will fit in delightfully.
When can people expect to be able to purchase pieces from Huzzah!Rev?
There will be some smaller items from the collection available for sale at TeslaCon, but the rest of the looks will go up around December in the House of Canney Etsy shop.
The Huzzah!Rev Kickstarter Campaign ends in one week on August 13, 2013. To support House of Canney visit the Huzzah!Rev page on Kickstarter.
Image of Anthony Canney by RBC Image. Concept sketch courtesy of House of Canney.
Editrix de Mode and Part Time Lion Tamer, Wilhelmina Frame travels the globe in pursuit of adventure and style. When not in the circus ring with Rajah, her tiger and the rest of her “Kitten Kabal” (seven lions, three cheetahs and a rather droll panther), Ms. Frame can be seen at the most fabulous parties, in the latest fashions, sparkling with wit in conversation. Ms. Frame is the founder and Tiffin Master of The American Tea Duelling Society. Ms. Frame's alter-ego, Gretchen Jacobsen, is a freelance producer, award-winning costumer, prolific crafter and frequent convention panelist. She sings quite well also. Visit the home of The American Tea Duelling Society on Facebook, follow Ms. Frame on Pinterest or @ptliontamer on Twitter.