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SO MINT! Hybrid Garment by Diya Wang

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence '21

SO MINT! is a series of posts on fresh graduates in fashion, jewellery and design from around the world. Handpicked by Current Obsession.

Hybrid Garment is a series of work that explores the overlap between fashion and Jewellery. As an artist and designer, my background and training prepared me to dissect and rebuild the relationship between and potential of jewellery and garments. The potential of hybridity serves as a methodology to combine and conflate the two disciplines. Hybrid Garment simplifies the complex categories of fashion and jewellery.

I challenge the conventional notions of body adornment and the expectations of how these formats are typically worn on the body. I utilize the recognizable formal qualities of jewellery and clothing and subvert their functions to create a hybridized body of work. I deliberately borrow and exaggerate jewellery and clothing’s formal elements to magnify their relationship to the body through shifts in scale, material, and function. I reassemble mass-produced jewellery and manufactured garments by hand in some works to embody my training in both jewellery and fashion. This work represents a synthesis of the study of form and my critical approach towards contemporary jewellery and fashion aesthetics. Surrealism and juxtaposition are examples of strategies I utilize in my work to reject logic, reason and natural order.

The result is one of a kind pieces meant to excite desire within people to wear them on the living body.

Hybridity of jewellery and clothing impacts the way we see body adornment, and it influences the way we see art. Hybrid Garment counters the problem of some clothing and art jewellery never meeting the body. Most jewellery artists and fashion designers spend time on the ideas behind their work and how to express the relationship between the work and the body. Their works are presented through the act of looking in art galleries, museums, or distant drawers, while Hybrid Garment insists on being worn on the street, bus station, and in the supermarket. This is amplified by the interactive and seductive quality of the street space, reshaping and revealing the identity of the wearer — allowing people to re-examine the intimate relationship between clothing, jewellery and body.

The essence of this work carries the idea of inclusivity. Hybrid Garment is made to be worn by a diverse group of people rather than limited to specific groups. It embraces people with different genders, hopes to reduce the hierarchy of socioeconomic groups, and strives to express the wearer’s individuality. Hybrid Garment expands social possibilities and allows for new narratives around the relationship between art and life.

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