Dress Maquette on display in the Hunt Museum, Limerick.

Creation of dress maquette as part of the ‘Instruments of Perception’ Exhibition and Eva at the Hunt Museum, Limerick.

This piece was inspired by the “Pink Ice’ evening gown by Sybil Connolly (HML 018) and a silver-gilt chalice with enamel inserts (NGI 12042). In much the same way as the dress is a vessel for the body, the chalice is a vessel used in sacred rituals including the transubstantiation. The piece engages with the problematic relationship between fashion, the role of women in global industries which support it, and constructs of femininity. By its nature, the maquette hints at potential, the possibility of what may be rather than a definitive; this piece is intended to stimulate the viewer’s imagination and provoke an opinion of both the piece and its potential. 21st Century Mantua suggests a layered approach to the observation of these areas through both the fragile and intricate design of the maquette and the multimedia accompaniment accessed through a technological interface. the audio composition uses sounds including an industrial sewing machine, scissors, zips, and applause at a fashion show, suggesting global movement and personal agitation. It was scored for double bass, viola and cello to create a sense of familiarity. “21st Century Mantua merges fashion and music into one clear message: ‘What is the human sacrifice of fast fashion when quality will suffice for a lifetime, if not into another generation?” – Aoife Moriarty

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