With an interest in fashion it seemed natural to attempt to create costumes, especially after taking several elective courses focused in costume design & history of dress. Mostly using readily available materials, these costumes were created as social & boundary experiments.
"Costumes are a way to express oneself in a unique manner because it gives the wearer permission to embody the character the costume represents or desires to become. It is this magic of costume that is so seductive & enticing, no matter the wearers' age, gender, race, or other identity characteristics."
Bringing together the individual histories and contexts of found objects and costume, "Heedful Headless-ness" was created using materials reminiscent of childhood. This bizarre headpiece consists of a saturated pink Snuggie (the infamous blanket with sleeves!) turned hat for the base. There are 25 stuffed animal heads, all within the same obnoxious bright and pastel color scheme, making up the intimidating bulk of visual interest for my headpiece. From beanie babies to ambiguous unknowns, the stuffed animals range in size and type (unicorns, bears, and frogs oh my!), but stay within the same pastel color palette with precious purples, baby pinks, and little boy blues. Attached are gloves or pockets, which can function as a cell phone/cup holder, as well as scarves, intertwined with lights to be used as needed. The connotation of this comforting, yet disturbing piece depends on the viewer’s perception and interruption.
Assignment: Alter the Snuggie given into a
super hero or villain costume
Below are pictures of my mesmerizing villain "Hypno Snuggie" when our class invaded downtown Ann Arbor
Heedful Headless-ness (Stuffed Animal Headdress)
Medium: Found objects-Snuggie, stuffed animals, hot glue, love, hand & machine sewing
Assignment: Purchase a magazine you would never get for yourself. Create a project based on it
Looking through the pages of Golf Digest I couldn't help but notice the luxurious advertisements for premium liquor, top of the line golf equipment, & designer clothing. Reflecting on the expensive merchandise featured, I started to think of the cost to maintain such a rich lifestyle or even play the elitist game of golf. I wasn't reflecting simply on the monetary cost, but also the immense pressure & sacrifices one must have to delegate in order to partake and preserve this costly style of living.
Thus, I created an expensive looking necklace with found, typical golf materials to represent the weight & pressure of such a lifestyle.
Weight of the Lifestyle
Medium: Found chain, metallic spray paint, golf balls & tees
Model: Lauren McCarthy Fashion Editors outfit featured in SHEI Magazine's 2013 Charity Fashion Show
Assignment: Create a uniform for yourself
This first stuffed animal costume was created as a "fashion editor's uniform" so that the wearer, the fashion editor, could have eyes & ears everywhere on set. Since fashoin editors have a disputable reputation for being insensitive fur lovers (a characteristic in fashion I do love & promote) I decided to "hunt" for my own stuffed animals. Mostly my prey was found at the local Salvation Army to appropriate them for my own fashionable uniform. Using a thrifted blazer, vintage double buckled belt, & the grey & brown hued furs, the fashion editor's uniform came to life completed with a "power hat" & supplies bag.
In The Editor's Eye (Fashion Editor's Uniform)
Medium: Found objects-Thrifted Men's jacket, belt, & bag, stuffed animals, hot glue, love, hand & machine sewing
Duality of Nice Spirits & Scary Monsters
Medium: Found scrapped fabric, lace, pom pom balls, paper parasoles
I made this headpiece and makeshift corset from objects I found discarded or unused. The belt in the center seem to be leftovers from the top of curtains. The ribbon is a “shocking pink”, Surrealist Elsa Schiaparelli’s signature color, which is so bright it could possibly horrify an onlooker.
With the veil, though made of delicate lace, an almost unapproachable effect is created as the wearers face and eyes are concealed.
Additionally the paper umbrellas or parasols are guarding the crown of the head with the sharp, built up layers. Due to the history or association with the materials, I kept thinking about Eastern cultures dress and how my History of Dress did not go over Asian dress. So I did some research on the obi, a formal Japanese sash, as well as the history & symbolism of parasols, which is universally for protection.