My senior capsule collection is titled "Maricón." Inspired by the history of LGBTQ+ identity, it takes historical cues from the evolution of queer identity in America to create a modern aesthetic. Inspiration includes the work of Keith Haring, vogue/ball culture (particularly Willi Ninja), and the 1980's AIDs crisis, particularly the memorial quilts. Due to the personal nature of this collection, I chose models of different sizes who identity as LGBTQ+.
For this collection, ̌I was awarded the 2018 Undergraduate Research Project Award from the Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies department at GSU.
Outfit 1: "Category is: Keith Haring" Dress
For my first look, I chose to pay tribute to ball culture by creating a dynamic print featuring the movements and spirit of voguers. To do this, I traced rudimentary outlines of vogueing dancers in a manner invoking the style of Keith Haring, a prominent gay artist in the 1980’s. I added handheld fans, a staple accessory in the ball scene, to the background.
The dress is made of cotton satin with the custom print, a pink ice-dyed cotton collar, and an invisible zipper closure.
To play with the idea of gender presentation, I decided to use a male model for the look. I wanted to visually showcase the fluidity of gender presentation by contrasting the feminine garment with a male figure as a fresh take on gender-nonconforming presentation.
Outfit 2: Quilted Coat
For the second look, I chose to pay tribute to the AIDs crisis by patchworking together a coat. I used over a hundred individual pink and blue cotton pieces, patchworked together to converge across the back as a visual representation of the gender spectrum. The sleeves also feature the pink triangle, a prominent queer pride symbol.
The coat features “invisible” pockets, black ice-dyed trim, black vinyl sleeves with handpainted gold and pink triangles, topstitched to mimic the quilting of the coat, cotton lining, and snap closures.
I chose a plus-size female model to play around with gender-nonconforming presentation in a different way than the first look. I styled this model more minimally, with pulled-back hair, light make-up, and boots to create an androgynous look without relying on a muted, masculine silhouette.
Outfit 3: Dyed Bodysuit with Mesh Cape
For my final look, I created a full-length flared bodysuit with an attached mesh cape for a disco-inspired look. I hand-dyed the cotton-spandex blend with marbling dyes to create a concentric circular pattern, reminiscent of a rainbow. The bodysuit also featured a gold-beaded mesh cape and deep front and back necklines.
I used another plus-size female model for this look, which required padding out a dressform in the school’s sewing lab and meeting for multiple fittings due to the stretch material. The look was completed with nude high heels, make-up, a black handheld fan with splattered gold paint, and a long ponytail.
Print Development Test
I decided to create a print inspired by Keith Haring and vogue/ball culture. I rendered images of iconic voguers Willi Ninja and Leiomy Maldonaldo in Adobe Illustrator, traced their outlines, and then arranged them in Adobe Photoshop. I added fans as background filler to make the print more dynamic.
Final version of my "Category Is: Keith Haring" print
Through Contrado, I printed the design on three yards of cotton satin.
"Category is: Keith Haring" Print Creation
As exhibited here, I had to trace images of voguers Willi Ninja and Leiomy Maldonaldo in Adobe Illustrator and then compose the pattern in Photoshop.
For the coat sleeves, I topstitched each sleeve in a triangular pattern and then painted several gold and pink triangles using fabric paint.
Ice dyeing was used in several pieces by placing ice on top of fabric and then sprinkling powdered dye onto that, allowing the dye to seep into the fabric.
Dyeing the Bodysuit
A peek into my process in dyeing the pieces for my bodysuit. Each piece was laid on a marbling surface of concentric circles, then later sewn together with a mesh cape.
Pattern drafting the coat, which required precision and planning to fit together all the patchwork pieces correctly.
Padding the Dressform
Due to the fact that my models are larger than our size 16 dressforms, I needed to pad out one of them so that I could drape the bodysuit, coat, and cape. I tightly wrapped fabric and tape around the bust, waist, and hips until the left side of the form equaled half of my model's measurements.
Drape: A-line Dress
For my dress, I draped an A-line dress on a size 14 Dressform. After transferring to pattern paper, I drafted a modified Mandarin Collar with triangular lapels.