My thesis collection is inspired by contemporary cases of mass hysteria at girls boarding schools. I am fascinated by the nearly identical stories of young girls succumbing to highly contagious psychosomatic symptoms, which frequently manifest as giggling fits, spontaneous dancing, and in some cases physical illness. What intrigues me most about these cases is the consistent twofold response. Concerned parents and members of the community are continuously split in their theories about the mystery illness: half insist that the sickness is brought on by exposure to chemical agents, while the other half believe that the girls exhibit life threatening responses to the HPV vaccine. 100% Virgin Acrylic is the visual manifestation of this anxious dichotomy, channeling both the toxicity of modern life and the cultural paranoia surrounding young women’s sexuality.
My silhouettes refer to recognizable tropes of young female culture. As the collection has evolved, the initial silhouettes have multiplied, changed in scale, and mutated. The garments are overlaid with textile manipulations which imply bacterial growth and body hair.