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Inspired by the Roman term, “bread and circuses,” this sculptural dress exposes our distraction from ongoing social movements, preventing the enactment of change. A custom-designed textile, composed of the names of various movements, creates the illusion of red striping when viewed from afar, further illustrating the masking of these issues.
For the overdress, each of the three visible panels were created through manipulating fabric via hand-knotting strips of organza to mimic harlequin patterns synonymous with the circus.
The implementation of ruffs in this design was inspired by the vintage costumes of circus performers, with each of the four layers of ruffs all gathered and sewn by hand.
For each layer of ruffs, the scale gradually increases, with the most dense layer being at the hip and a lower concentration at the hem and for the off-the-shoulder accent.
Having this design as two separate garments ensures wearability and customization, with the option to switch out the gown underneath with one of a different color or texture.
Meet the Designer
Slightly shy of a decade old, I had declared I was going to be a fashion designer. I simply decided it, and nothing could change my mind. While most fourth graders were learning long division, I was perusing colleges. Set on attending FIT, I scoured the application process and the course catalog, already knowing what my specialization would be. This unwavering determination was not simply the dream of a child, it became my career. What always guided my love for fashion is the allure of absurdism. For a girl who took herself too seriously, it offered the excuse to be ridiculous; to be unserious, evoking childhood through its whimsy. Finding this humor in fashion, I realized, had the potential to facilitate meaningful discussions. As much as fashion has affected me, it became apparent that I use it to help others in progressing sustainability, inclusivity, and accessibility.