Christine Misiak new/old tea sets for Gothic Lolita tea party.
I previously blogged about Maarten Baas’ burned furniture and the way it re-thinks traditional ideas of beauty – an intention that is at the basis of Gothic Lolita fashion. I came across another young designer, Christine Misiak, who finds “old, worn forgotten tea sets and give[s] them a new lease of life.” Today’s pseudo-intellectualism: the reasons her designs are perfect for a Goth Loli tea party, both aesthetically and philosophically.
Christine Misiak recycled green teapot and tea sets.
Misiak finds old, battered metal tea sets at flea markets or car boot sales. The one pictured above was in horrid condition: the surface had rusted, the teapot interior was dirty and scratched, and one of the legs on the sugar bowl was missing. Misiak polished and repaired the set, spraying it with a glossy black finish. The broken leg remains, but it adds character and celebrates the piece’s imperfections.

The designer expressed sadness over the neglect of old tea sets: “These objects of desire that once stood shining in all their glory on dining room tables as centerpieces are now objects of disregard.” Similarly, many Gothic Lolitas are disappointed with modern clothing that lacks the intricate craftsmanship of bygone eras. (Compare an American Apparel t-shirt to a shirred Edwardian blouse.) The latter has become a forgotten artifact, deemed unfashionable – and as a result, we’ve lost insight into a past conception of beauty.

Misiak seeks to “preserve and portray important aspects of the past […] by using features from old neglected tea sets and blending them with the new and modern.” Her aim is at the heart of Gothic Lolita fashion. Mana, for example, takes design details from Victorian ballgowns and blends them with contemporary styling and materials. The result (his clothing line Moi-Même-Moitié) is a stunning contrast of new and old that reminds us about beauty in the world, both before and now.

Christine Misiak recently won the Peter Walker Award for innovation in Product Design at the New Designers 2007 exhibition in London. She is continuing to develop her tea sets, and extend her range in product design and metalwork. You can see more photos of her tea sets on her website.