Jody Culkin: Refashioned subverts traditional functions of women’s apparel by creating quirky, ironic faux-utilitarian clothing and accessories which question whether fashion entraps or liberates women – or both.
Purses are adorned with roving eyes or water spouts. A burka is refashioned to be sheer with a spinning propeller that could allow an imaginary occupant to escape her repression. A hoodie is reinterpreted as a feminist Victorian headdress. A soccer shirt is transformed into a dress with bonnet and copper mesh sleeves reminiscent of medieval chainmail.
Culkin uses the craftsmanship and formal properties of garment-making such as hand-stitching, pattern-making, sensuous fabrics, along with formal properties of color, form, pattern, decoration shape, and texture. Common to her work are elements which are vaguely threatening, such as steel wool and broken glass, along with prosaic and fragile materials such as cardboard for jewelry that could melt in the first rain. Culkin’s work disrobes fashion, subverting its more restraining elements in favor of an idiosyncratic expression of female empowerment.