Alis Pelleschi, designer, photographer, artist – on her picture of her with her mother.
GB I love this picture of you and your mum. Tell me when and where you took it.
AP This pic was taken a couple of months ago, when my mum came to stay and visit me in London. She’s a little adventurer, like me, so she loves coming down here. She cracks me up and this was taken just after me attacking her by hugging her.
GB What do you find beautiful about your mother? Is it physical beauty? Do other qualities lend her physical beauty?
AP My momma is just a bit of a free spirit. Super kind hearted and just the sound of her laughing, makes me laugh. She gets the giggles and my dad always tells me off for setting her off, which sets me off. She is also beautiful, I won’t say her age, but she definitely does not look her age (there is hope for me yet!). She loves dancing and having a fun time and was a bit of a hippy mum. I used to join her in Morris dancing, circle dancing and days of dance events. Youthfulness in older age is also a beautiful thing.
GB You appear in your own photographic work a lot. There’s a lot of artifice involved in these portraits as you challenge traditional ideals of female beauty. How does your mother respond to this? Do you think there’s any kind of generation gap or cultural gap? (I guess she’s probably younger than Cindy Sherman? But from a different background.)
AP I think my momma gets it. A lot of the characters I become, reference people I’ve met or grew up around (I even have one based on my dad), so I think she understands it on that level. I never try to pre-empt people’s reactions to things, and I usually am quite organic about the characters, they kind of are what they are, and people can take what they want from them. However, I think my parents would prefer me to do large scale beautiful landscape shots.
GB Does your mum like your clothing line too? Are ideals of beauty in the fetish world different from the fashion industry? Is it easy to be a part of both at the same time?
AP My mum really liked our last AW13 collection and the positivity of education and knowledge that it represented. Although she did say she would prefer it without all the words on. But she liked the more classic/sleek chic look that we were moving towards. I think the fetish world is far more accepting of difference and what beauty is. However, I feel both worlds are quite limiting in different ways. With Meat, we’re just doing our own thing really. We don’t really want to have to stick to ‘fashion’ dos/don’ts and we don’t relate ourselves to being fetish wear (although we think Meat is fucking sexy).
GB What’s your prediction for the future of ideals of female beauty?
AP I’m hoping we can all become real life futuristic internet-spat-out alien 3D babes!
GB What makes something worthy of the word Beauty to you?
AP I think genuineness, kindness, realness and confidence in your own quirks.