Mabel Lok

PPE: Butterfly Pupa

Class of: 2027

Major: Fine Arts BFA

Medium: Tracing Paper, Mesh, Stapler, Pen, Wire, Thread, Muslin Fabric

Faculty: Rachel Urkowitz

Prompt: Bridge 2, Peer to Peer: PPE. Protective Partner Exchange/Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the Authentic/Inauthentic City. To design a protective body garment that is dedicated your partner's feelings towards living in NYC. Indicating a sense of protection for your partner.

The butterfly pupa design acts as a protective garment for my partner’s fear of feeling self-conscious living in NYC. Elva fears the high maintenance environment in the city, where people are very fashionable and sometimes rather “dress-to-impress”. She felt that living in New York made her more cautious about her body and appearance. Thus, for the design I intend to create protection whilst maintaining the transparency in being able to see her beauty from within. She also suggested to use the colour blue in which she connotes it to represent calm and confidence.

The outline of the design is inspired by the shape of a pupa, where they have rings of hard structure to protect their soft body structures within and this layer of protection is softly transparent. I used wire rings within the tracing paper to give structure to the piece. The thread act as a connection between the pieces, and implying the slit that the pupa is about to break open from. Then the blue reflective mesh layer gives the garment flow and further extend the transparency given to see her inner beauty. The muslin fabric used is to highlight the simplicity and originality of beauty, as well as the body-con structure reinforces the outline of a butterfly pupa. The blue reflective mesh is used to give emphasis to the shine, as well as to subtly bring attention to her.

Overall, I intend to use the structure of a butterfly pupa to give her safety in being herself in the big city. Whereas, the transparency is created to allow people to see her outfit and know her personality from within. Just like a butterfly pupa, it is notable that the gorgeousness on the inside will be ready to gleam at any time soon.