Tuxedo is a window display installation created for the Bay Ridge Storefront Art Walk, a non-profit community arts initiative that pairs up artists with local businesses. 15 artists were chosen to create installations in shop windows along 5th avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
I was immediately attracted to creating a display for the tuxedo shop because as someone who has never wore or thought much about tuxedos, the garment seemed to me like an alien uniform that held an intriguing, secret vocabulary. I was inspired to study its form and to transform it into a custom sculpture for window display.
I created the tuxedo sculpture out of two basic media—muslin fabric and paint. By duplicating the idea of the tuxedo in materials furthest away from typical suiting material, I separated its function from its form. The tuxedo becomes unwearable; the angular cuts of the fabric appear more like a painting. Hidden from the viewer, the “painting” is actually propped up by stretcher bars. By increasing the scale by 4 times, I introduced an element of humor into what would otherwise be a serious shop window, and furthermore, I invite the passerby to stop and see the tuxedo in a different way, to examine the uniform of high-end male fashion up close.
"We know what he wore. We don't know who he is." -Robert Altman's Prêt-à-Porter
Artist Phyllis Ma makes what she wears and wears who she is. She hybridizes fashion and art into humorous pieces which straddle use and whimsy.
ready-to-wear includes iconic male clothing items scaled for an imaginary giant, a series of silk shirts which have been tie-dyed by flame, and a transparent tarp adorned with symbols of food.
The works in this one-night exhibition will make its party sensitive to the connections between what they wear and how they move, speak, and pleasurably consume.
Emoji Clothes (2014)
Inspired by the ubiquitous “Thank you/ Have a nice day!” plastic bags, this piece explores the form and function of clothing.
A bag with a zipper at the bottom seam unzips to become a tank top. Two tank tops zip together to form a dress. A dress hangs on the wall like a painting.
Don’t put anything too heavy in the bag—the seams will rip. You can wear the dress, but it fits the hanger better. So multi-functional is the product that it is rendered absurd and nearly function-less.