Phoebe Clark

Soft White Underbelly

Class of: 2023

Major: Fashion Design BFA

Medium: A combination of cardboard, bristol, glue, and tape

Faculty: Natalia Zubko

Prompt: How we relate to others can often be dictated by the cultures we associate with and can correlate to when we feel connected to others. Through writing and research, students will explore when, how & why they feel connected or disconnected to someone. Considering how color, shape, form, and scale can be used formally or metaphorically, students will create a body object that gets to the essence of feeling connected/disconnected or creates a space for connecting. The object must be “worn” on the body, structurally sound, and able to repeat its conversion.

This object is the physical representation letting your guard down, to expose the soft white underbelly when you become comfortable around. Your heart, and all essential organs in your torso become exposed when the object collapses. It’s built so that the wearer can move the top piece down, collapsing the structure and revealing the previously covered torso. I was inspired by the way an armadillo’s “armor” appears, as it seems more organic while still being rigid. It’s not the most comfortable to wear, alluding to the discomfort and effort that it takes to maintain a more protected and shielded self. When it’s collapsed, it’s more comfortable and easier to move while wearing, which is similar to the experience of getting more comfortable and vulnerable around somebody. Both visually and physically, it simulates this experience of gaining intimacy with another person, and oneself.