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Graduating Thesis Exhibition: “Pre-Packaged Couture: High Fashion, Great Value!”

Semester: Spring 2023

Presentation description

Referencing both the Depression and wartime era practice making clothes, quilts, and household necessities from emptied cloth flour and feed sacks, and the decadent attire and sheer opulence worn by celebrities at the Met Gala, High Fashion, Great Value! is an haute couture collection made entirely from repurposed low density polyethylene (plastic) shopping bags and single use product packaging that explores the lifespan and reusability of the material waste generated on a daily basis by a consumer society obsessed with the luxurious immediacy and convenience of cheap, disposable products and fast fashion, and how, if left unchecked, this will alter and shape the resources of the future.

About the project:
The focus of my research project is the organizing and executing of two public presentations (an event and an exhibition) of my BFA thesis work titled, High Fashion, Great Value!. I will be organizing and facilitating a performance as a fashion show runway where the works will be modeled on the catwalk, allowing the audience to opportunity to experience the work in its live state rather than only ever in its static states as displays and photographic images, as well as to create an additional layer of conceptual depth to the work as it continues to complicate its own materiality as a “waste material” on the runway.

I am working with The Gateway to put on an exhibition of the work in the form of a series of window display installations featuring both the garments and photographs, mimicking the style of classic department store display windows in both their opulence and form. Though these installation displays will almost appear to be typical window display scenes, upon further inspection, these installations will reveal themselves as being made entirely from repurposed waste materials, inviting viewers and Gateway visitors alike to consider and even reimagine their relationship to the objects and materials around them.

Presenter Name: Adah Bennion
Presentation Type: Visual Arts
Presentation Format: Virtual
College: Fine Arts
School / Department: Art & Art History
Research Mentor: Wendy Wischer