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materials - 100% cotton
ZAZEL is a reversible tiered maxi dress with alternating railroad stripe colors. It has a feminine flounce with a masculine cut bodice. It can be worn with the lower side in front in traditional pinafore style with a band t-shirt underneath, or with the higher side in front like the pinafore’s gym class namesake: the pinnie.
model wears size XL
This piece is named after Rossa Matilda Richter aka Zazel, the first human cannonball and a woman of history in the circus/freak show zeitgeist. She was shot out of a cannon (sort of… never ask a carnie to explain their tricks!) for the first time in 1877 at the inhibitionless age of 17.
I have always had a thing for the circus - not Ringling Brothers or Siegfried & Roy, but the seedy underbelly of traveling misfits. Like aerialist Edwardian pirates. Growing up near Coney Island, our summer fun was underlined by the macabre history of Topsy and Steeplechase Park. Millennial Brooklynites might even remember Shoot The Freak.
In my mind, the ingenuity, vagrancy, and overall bizarre-ness of the late 1800s is connected through the railroads. Picture this: you’re in a burgundy train car drinking a corpse reviver from a crystal glass. The snow covered midwest rushes past. You pull the lace curtain closed - you don’t want to think about where you’re going. A man with enormous sideburns sits across from you. He asks if you are alone. You lie. “My husband will be back in just a moment.” The pistol in your garter feels heavy. You ask him for a cigarette. He snorts. He’s never seen a respectable lady smoke a cigarette. You tell him - “You’ve never met a lady like me.”
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