Clothing is integral to how we present ourselves to others and understand ourselves. Colors, fabrics, and silhouettes, respectively, produce meaning and hold value relative to cultural context. The same symbol could be celebrated in one culture and be considered taboo in another. Through my work, I explore how I can express my unfiltered beingness through the adornment of my body with context exclusive to my existence. As a black queer person from the suburbs of Michigan, I enjoy highlighting my unusual and distant connection to black culture. I pull influence from Motown, car shows, blaxploitation movies, the great migration, and the scenery of Lake Michigan. To infuse my influences in my garments, I abstract my symbology using color-blocking, simple symbols, and shapes. I explore how I can augment and accentuate my body and reflect on how western ideologies affect my design choices. I use screen printing, dyeing, and pleating to amplify my cloth landscapes. While my visual metaphors require personal context to understand, I want my garments to be universal and give people a mode to express their unique selves. To alter the perception of one’s body, I experiment with raising a sleeve, loosening the crotch, or tapering a pant leg. Along with post-construction alterations, I work closely with the intended wearer to draft a pattern that meets their needs. By doing so, I can give them a feeling of significance by attempting to meet these needs in combination with my symbology.
Venus Stanton is a fashion designer from East Lansing, Michigan. They are completing their undergraduate degree in Fiber with a minor in Experimental Fashion. Their work utilizes abstract symbols by color-blocking simple shapes through various techniques such as screen printing, dyeing, and piping. Conceptually, their work explores their perspective of moving through the world as a queer black midwesterner. They pull influence from 20th-century black musicians, car shows, pulp-sci-fi movies, the great migration, the scenery of Lake Michigan, and most importantly, their family.
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