Hoard Couture : Social Issues

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Dress for Sex-cess: Truth or Dare

White denim, sharpie marker, zipper, feathers, lace, studs

This white denim sheath dress is based upon a sewing pattern from the 1960s, when times were different. Handwritten are the names, initials or victim numbers of 358 women that filed claims of sexual harassment against Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, Bill Clinton, and Dr. Larry Nassar. The materials used, including feathers, lace and gold studs are chosen on purpose. Women are admonished to not dress provocatively because that choice invites unwanted attention, or the excuse of “asking for it”.
How the hands are placed as negative space is intentional as is the big X on her back (if you noticed, many do not). The garment is not meant to take a position on the issue one way or another, it is merely a walking wearable record of history to spark conversation and awareness. Its creation was pre-Jeffrey Epstein.
The title, Dress for Sex-cess: Truth or Dare has multiple levels of meaning. I will leave it to the viewer to figure them out.

In a world gone crazy, we hide behind our labels and share words of_______!

Silk tie remnants, embroidery floss, hem tape, denim

I created this garment in reaction to the war of words during the intense period of the Corona virus and election era politics of 2020. The word “crazy” is used two ways, as a description of the dominating societal vibe and also refers to the overall design concept like that of a traditional crazy quilt: silk fabrics, mixed patterns, embroidery threads and a random layout of panels. Because of quarantine restrictions at the time, I could not source materials therefore whatever was available in the studio had to suffice. As for the choice of words, I started with 50 that were personally significant to me then narrowed the list to 37 that could actually fit on the coat. Perhaps the remaining 13 may yet be placed as they are important words for all of us. I use “hide” in the title because we often do not speak with honesty and truth, we label people without full knowledge. The blank space allows for the viewer to complete the sentence with a word they feel is most appropriate since words have different meanings and interpretations to each of us.

School Shootings School Bus Cape

Broadcloth, paint, felt, embroidery, reflectors, vinyl
The cape pattern is from the 1960s when times were different. The color is school bus yellow with reflectors included in the detailing like the lights on a bus. The bullet holes number 52, one for each state, the District of Columbia and the “rest of the story” victims after the dress was originally finished in May of 2018. Incidents are recorded by state in alphabetical postal code beginning on the lower front right if looking at it (left if wearing). Victims from incidents where a gun was used in an institution of learning or education are tallied using records kept since 1840. Depicted as white paper doll shapes, each one is hand painted. Those with a red X were killed on site or died later, those untouched represent the wounded. Events are in order but not specified, hence the distance between X’s. The embroidered words mimic the words on the side of a school bus. A tally of bodies is kept on the chalkboard located near-by because this was a work in progress until Covid closed our schools in the spring of 2020. More incidents have occurred recently, but I have not the heart to keep going. My point has been made.

We burned……

Robe, paint, sheers, assorted burned materials, netting

This gown visually conceptualizes the 2018 California wildfire season, the deadliest and most destructive on record as of this writing. A total of 8,527 fires burned an area of 1,975,086 acres, the largest area of burned land recorded in any one fire season. There were 103 confirmed fatalities, 24,226 structures damaged or destroyed and the state lost 2% of its total landscape.
The base garment was a discarded choir robe or perhaps an angel costume? I hand painted the skirt to look like ghostly trees then added overlays of sheer textiles representing the fragility of nature. More sheers at the hemline are to replicate the essence of fire…chaotic, layered, and unpredictable. The bodice is comprised of at least 2,000 hand-cut “leaves”, each one individually charred or burned They are made from cartons, wrappers, packaging, textiles, photos, greeting cards and so on, each representing things in of our lives that are lost to fire. Sometimes a leaf will fall off and float away, another lost soul returning to nature.

Why do you label me?


Thrift store dress, child’s necktie, beading, cummerbund, 700+ labels, cording, and thread.
Over 700 necktie and clothing labels have been incorporated into this gown that starts a conversation about labeling people. The hem area has 13 words in stitched cording that outline ways we categorize others including by race, country of origin, weight, interests, abilities and so on. We can dress up our rhetoric but in the end, rather than differentiating ourselves, we need to realize that we are all tied together on this planet as the human species. All of us are unique in some way, but our similarities outweigh our difference. Just like these labels, each is different, but all are still from a garment and very close in size and shape.
Around the hips text is “Why do you label me?”
Words stitched around hem: Social Status, Race, Religion, Politics, Country of Origin, Weight, Intelligence, Gender, Income, Interests, Ability, Personality, and Sexual Orientation

Maybe I can’t tell you….a conversation about childhood mental health.

Fabrics, wire, embroidery floss, thread

This small scale sculptural dress ( 36″ tall x 24″ wide) brings awareness to childhood mental health. The skirt of dark and ragged textiles is embroidered with 24 symptoms to watch for in children. The edges are uneven and raw on purpose and Ombre from darker towards the bottom and just a bit lighter on the top. The bodice is embroidered with the title, and two arms reach over and embrace the figure, both detailed with statistics of note. A third arm wraps around the body and made from wire. This hand references the 1960s era groundbreaking psychological research of Harry Harlow involving a baby monkey and its bonding issues with different “mothers”.