My design work subverts the traditional notions of garment and footwear through the exaggeration of familiar approaches to fabrication. I discuss common visual languages, specifically the vernacular of youthful femininity. Through the lens of discontent, the concepts I explore in my work are driven largely by childhood experiences, both personal and researched. I portray the opposing agency necessary for growing up feminine, with the powerless reality of personhood at a young age. In communicating these ideas, I challenge the viewers’ perception of the visual, presenting difficult, often traumatic, topics in a sugar-coated abundance of color and form.
I am aesthetically driven by common childhood sensibilities, while materially inspired by refined fabrics, with emphasis in silks, leather, and fur. The colors in my work project an aggressively sweet narrative; the pieces are oversaturated in a toxicity of pastels and noxious use of pink. These colors work to scrutinize a glorified utopian state of womanhood, as defined by the various feminine color theorists that inform my research. I am questioning this history of gendered experience through color, and challenging where I fit into the societally constructed pink narrative of effeminate strife. My silhouettes are confrontational, distorting the viewers perception of how the wearer exists within them; they make the viewer interrogate where the body and garment are in competition versus conversation. This dialogue between garment and body largely pertains to volume, which I use as a mark of contrast to the body meant to accentuate specific points on the wearer. Differences in expansion off of the body contradict absences of material, resulting in dynamic, yet sensual silhouettes.
I present source imagery and my research to develop silhouettes directly, often through fabric prints, shaping of pattern pieces, and direct textile references; I embed the concepts within the direct making of the garments. The simplicity and straightforwardness of content is evident in the approach I take to technical pattern making and construction. I build a personal jargon of stitching and shaping techniques with precision to fabricate in all of my design work, whether in garments or footwear. In this way the pieces declare their relation to my concept development in their palpable construction.
My work celebrates personal femininity, while encouraging the wearer to make their own mockery of the systemic archetypes of youthful womanhood. The pieces possess an insistence for color, form, and technical craft, asserting femininity, the color pink specifically, as a position of strength and not an imposition.