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The Threads, Trends and Threats of the Wedding Dress: A Collaborative, Studio-based Dissertation

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The Threads, Trends and Threats of the Wedding Dress: A Collaborative, Studio-based Dissertation

Ezcurra Lucotti, Maria (2016) The Threads, Trends and Threats of the Wedding Dress: A Collaborative, Studio-based Dissertation. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

A multi-faceted, collaborative studio-based project of doctoral research-creation, this thesis uses art, text, textiles, photographs and the body to explore how visual culture participates through dress in the creation of female stereotypes and, as an informal educative practice, contributes to the definition of feminine identities. It is centred on the participation of 19 women who guided the artistic transformation of wedding dresses to represent their different notions of marriage. This project allowed participants to experience the research-creation inquiry in both personal and social contexts, responding creatively through visual, material and embodied thinking. Conceptualizing and representing our experiences through dress and text, we developed new understandings about close relationships and community through imagination and intellect. Brides function here as representative stereotypes of femininity, while wedding dresses work as a metaphor for marriage in exploring the restraining symbolisms hidden in the form of tradition that certain current cultural and social rituals have for women. Based on collaborative research-creation processes and supported by inclusive ethnographic methods, this thesis intends to develop new understandings and awareness about the connection of fashion and popular visual culture to the ways women learn and generate meaning. The project was inspired by “Trash the Dress” (TTD) wedding photography, a relatively new and increasingly popular practice in North America which shows brides wearing their white dress in an environment outside of the traditional wedding context, damaging or destroying it, or even exposing themselves during the session—a cultural phenomenon just now beginning to attract the attention of theorists, scholars and artists. Through collaborative artistic processes, this project explores how femininity is influenced by popular and media representations of women as brides, considering personal issues related to love, commitment, family, tradition, and religion, and also the social challenges, responsibilities and negotiations that women face in conjugal relationships. Based on visual and textual analyses of participants’ transformed and embodied dresses and their responses to survey questions, the thesis concludes that working in collaboration with others can provide a context for personal learning and social growth, allowing participants to creatively explore their experiences together and to discuss and develop new ideas. Thus, The Threads, Trends and Threats of the Wedding Dress considers close relationships and love both as our subject of study and as a strategy to create new knowledge and ways of knowing through art-education in ways that allow for compassion, awareness and humanization.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Ezcurra Lucotti, Maria
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Art Education
Date:29 February 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Vaughan, Kathleen
Keywords:collaborative artmaking, feminist art education, research-creation, wedding dress, women’s informal learning
ID Code:980984
Deposited By: MARIA EZCURRA LUCOTTI
Deposited On:16 Jun 2016 15:00
Last Modified:05 Nov 2016 08:08

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