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The VAUGHAN Muse, Martha Graham

martha graham inspiration

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance.” – Martha Graham

Back when the world saw black and white, there was one woman who had a vision in technicolour.

A legacy of innovation told through the power of modern dance, her theatrical stage presence and language of movement extends to every facet of bodily expressionism.

From the barre to the bright lights of Broadway, Martha Graham’s legacy continues to permeate through artistic boundaries more than 25 years since she took her last bow.

Today, it’s easy to lose sight of what a muse really means. Distracted with the Kylies and Queen B’s of the modern world, one only needs to consult the history books to pinpoint true visionaries – and in the world of dance, there can only be one leading lady.

Martha Graham is to dance what Madame Grès is to couture – a pioneer, a revolutionary and a vanguard in the purest meaning of the word. 

So, when it came to choosing an icon for our latest silhouette, we couldn’t think of any recipient more worthy than the groundbreaking choreographer and experimental leader.

Paying homage to her distinctive style and artistic practice, Martha Graham’s influence became a source of inspiration for a wider artistic zeitgeist throughout her career. A teacher to 21st century icons like Madonna, Bette Davis and Liza Minnelli, she was also a contributor and patron of the arts– working with the likes of Andy Warhol, Halston and Isamu Noguchi as a still life model and dilettante.

Within the realms of her metier, Martha Graham is a name to be uttered with reverence.

Graham’s groundbreaking style grew from her experimentation with the elemental movements of contraction and release. By focusing on the basic activities of the human form, she enlivened the body with raw, electric emotion. The sharp, angular, and direct movements of her technique were a dramatic departure from the predominant style of the time.

To mirror her captivating and athletic approach to movement, the VAUGHAN Martha shirt has been designed with the utmost respect to form and function. A versatile design with an adjustable ballet sash waist, its light silk composition is a featherweight fabric that moves with your movements.

Borrowing from the conventions of dancewear, its wrap fronted design and clean round collar offer endless freedom of movement whilst its tear-drop back button closure adds a touch of fashion construction to a practical silhouette. Directly inspired by Martha Graham’s colourful stage costumes, each colour from the collection is a homage to one of her famous routines and a tribute to her wide spectrum of innovative choreography and visual imagery.

To celebrate her legacy and VAUGHAN's newest collection of dance-inspired silk shirts, we have created this simple ensemble that embodies Martha Graham’s living legacy (and her serious penchant for statement jewellery) – styling a modern dance shoe with a IT choker necklace and a velvet purse that’s perfect for an evening spent hogging the dance floor.

After all, if Martha doesn’t care if you can’t dance, why should we?

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