My work describes my struggle finding myself after a long sexually abusive relationship. Social anxiety left me terrified and isolated. In an effort to disclose the struggles I faced in the past year, I had to become social again while coping with the loss of friendships. I had to be honest with my parents while trying to navigate senior year in a completely new environment.
I created garments designed to look like futuristic armor to represent my struggles. I wanted to show how my mind inhibits my body when in uncomfortable situations. My models’ bodies are exposed to show where I feel affected or insecure. Inadvertently these areas express confidence. This describes what it’s been like to hide my feelings in order to appear more confident in front of others. The garments restrict the body as well. The restriction expresses my inability to find solutions to my anxiety and self-deprecating actions. Additionally, my garments are designed to appear futuristic, otherworldly, and imaginary. This represents the isolation and disconnection I feel from the world and my friends.
To abstract the body, I used wire. Wire allowed me to raise the neckline to frame the face and eyes. Similarly, chicken wire made it possible to create a large angular frame without appearing heavy. This was to symbolize fragility and constriction. Plastic vinyl and mirror window film was used in my garments to exemplify fragility and vulnerability. Vinyl created the illusion of impenetrable armor although the garment itself is transparent and soft. Finally, I wanted these garments to appear beautiful to the viewer's eye, to illustrate that even traumatic experiences can create beauty and meaning.