Artist Statement

       Through my fashion and textile practice, I create totally absurd, theatrical garments inspired by puppetry in order to bring my viewers and models into a world where they can relive childhood as an adult. In a mundane world, the optics of theatricality and colorful resplendence encourage imagination--creating a projected sense of self and imaginative escape. My work creates an unexpected presence: an attempt to provoke an absurd connection between the pieces, wearers and viewers in walking the line between clothing and costume.

       My work is fuzzy and neon, with each garment emphasizing the wearer’s body in different ways. When contrasted with dull, matte fabrics such as neoprene and dyed denim, fabrics such as high pile faux fur accent parts of the body, like the back, wrists, and legs. My garments also exhibit cartoon-like appliques such as large eyeballs, fuzzy eyebrows, and puppet-inspired armatures. These armatures include pull-strings to move something on the garment, long pieces of fabric attached to different parts of the body that move when the body moves, and literal puppet heads attached to sleeves which are operated by the wearer’s hands.

       In my collections, the sense of play frees the wearer and enables them to rediscover that sense of freedom through expression in these excessive outfits. I create an invitation to stumble into somewhere fun and childlike for a while as a reminder to not take life so seriously and to engage in the importance of play, perhaps reliving a small piece of childhood as an adult.

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© Zo​ë Schuttler 2019