The main concept of this workshop centered around turning cloth into costume. The focus was more on the experience of turning raw material into something participants could wear and move in, not on creating a flawless object. The hope was to involve some level of unschooling or shifting expectations. The making culminated in a freewheeling movement session and an unplanned swim for some.We looked at the historical purposes of costume, artistic uses of costume (especially in performance), and contemporary examples of costume (i.e. broadening/widening the definition of costume to include uniforms, daily modes of dress, etc.). Examples included the work of Rei Kawakubo (Commes des Garcons), Louise Bourgeois, Frida Kahlo, Susan Ciancolo, K8 Hardy, and Helio Oitica as well as Zina Saro-Wiwa’s photographs of the men of the Ogele dressed for their masquerades.

Taught as part of the Dreamland workshop series in Ithaca, NY, June 2017
© Zoë Frederick 2023