This collection is inspired by the transformative nature of Halloween costumes and the act of becoming something other than the self. This ostracization of various creatures and characters represented through costume is such a powerful and universal tradition that I explored in different areas, such as literature, society, theatre, and fantasy. Based on my findings, I designed an exaggerated experience of the other in a new world with its own narrative.
This piece is a modern interpretation of the traditional commedia dell'arte character, Pierrot. The handmade pom poms bring a level of absurdity to the character as well as spin the traditional character’s appearance from melancholic to jovial.
The high-waisted bloomers are made of harlequin printed cotton, ribbon trim, and have elastic leg holes and an invisible zipper closure. The neck ruffle is knife pleated and features a button closure. It is made of black light weight denim, white polished cotton, black organza, and harlequin printed cotton. The socks and headpiece have handmade yarn pom-poms to put a spin on Pierrot’s classic appearance.
The delicate balance between hard and soft inspired this piece as I sought out to make a dewy bondage swan prince who rules with a stern, yet understanding hand. The headpiece was originally a plain styrofoam swan that I hollowed out and adorned in velvet bows, a black glitter crown, and gold accents on the beak, feathers, and crown.
As a woman, it sometimes feels as though society has its invasive hands on my body, telling me how to use it while claiming it as their own. My rebuttal is simple: hands off. This piece represents the liberation that is gained through reclaiming my body as my own. I will not be ashamed of my body and I will do with it exactly as I please.
The hand bra is made of cotton muslin and features hand embroidered knuckles and fingernails as well as a wire skeleton inside of it to allow the fingers to bend in alternate positions. The pants are made of black cotton denim and have a tape measure tuxedo stripe down the leg and hand embroidered pockets.
The hand embroidered lungs were inspired by anatomical drawings in a psychology textbook that I simplified and colorblocked to mimic the healing effects of a deep breath on an anxious consciousness. The root of life stems from breathing; the lung’s vibrancy shows its boldness.
The garment is made of a medium weight cotton muslin to give off a natural appearance. It features completely hand embroidered bronchioles with a painted blue lung background. The poet sleeves have a tuxedo stripe down them, the neck is piped in red, the bottom is trimmed in two lines of bias tape, and it closes with an exposed zipper in the back.
Loved and Loathed
When reading Beowulf, his hyper masculinity screamed through the pages and felt like a caricature of how society defines the “ideal man”. In a rebuttal to that statement, I feminized him and made Beowulf a drag queen who is stronger, more capable, and much prettier than the original nordic warrior.
The tiered skirt is torn, frayed, and burned as if he had just defeated the monster Grendel. The top has “Loved and Loathed” hand painted in gold on it, from my favorite passage in Beowulf where the warrior explores how intertwined his fate is with Grendel’s, discovering that being labeled either monster or hero is completely subjective and circumstantial.
When making this piece, I explored the transformative nature of Halloween costumes and sought to make something completely inhuman. The result is this swamp creature that roams the earth aimlessly, eternally searching for the unremembered.
The mask is made of wire mesh that I hand embroidered and attached over 1,000 yards of metallic thread to in order to create the bearded fringe.
-Jackson Montgomery Schwartz
-Jackson Montgomery Schwartz
-Becky Page Packard
- Kat Alyst
-Randy Ray Lemon
-Target the Queen