Senior Art Exhibit 2006: Elizabeth Long
To some, fashion is their life... It is their religion. But to others, it is simply what covers their body, it is their protection from the day. Some rely on fashion to communicate identity. It is through the combination of different elements that they are able to express their style and who they are as individuals. To a designer, fashion is an art form that holds endless opportunities for innovation. Fashion, as defined in the dictionary is "the shape or form of creation; it is the configuration." Fashion design may be seen as free-form sculpture that is both functional and artistic.
In designing with unconventional materials, I explore symbolism as it relates to fashion and female stereotypes. My work addresses not just the physical form of a woman, but also who she is personally. While the materials I have chosen are not characteristically feminine, it is what they represent in relation to womanhood that is of importance. For example, wireform is fragile, while at the same time sturdy and steadfast. This relates to the idea that women, although considered "delicate flowers," are powerful and resilient. The use of recycled film negatives expresses the concept that a woman is shaped by her experiences––her past, present and future. Her life experiences and how she deals with them form who she will be. The vintage cook book pages convey the stereotypes of women as housewives. Instead of the piece being a commentary on domesticity, it explores the maternal side of women. Women bring forth life; they are nurturing and comforting. This idea relates to the book itself. It has been said that one can find comfort in a good book, that the pages are embraced and nurtured by the cover and binding. Books also bear and cultivate new ideas.
While the materials I have chosen to utilize for these designs are not conventionally thought of as fashionable or feminine, it is through their composition that womanhood is expressed in a positive and thought provoking manner. My interest in three-dimensional design and functional art will be explored further as I pursue a career in fashion design.
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