Monday, July 21, 2014

Fashion-Meets-Fiction: Gowns Made of Romance Novels

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This art takes the romance novel to the next level! Artist Carrie Ann Schumacher dabbles her creative chops in many mixed media projects, but right now she's gaining some attention for her amazing fashion-meets-fiction frocks.

"Alice and the Boy She Left Behind"

In her artist's statement about the series Romance Novel Dresses: The Fragile Fantasy, Schumacher explains:
"The dresses I create from the pages of romance novels examine the demands that feminine culture places upon women by utilizing the garment as a social signifier. Women often define themselves through clothing; we use our appearance to project ambitions, attract mates and signal our social status."

"Carolyn and the Mae of 1968"

She goes on to discuss the taxing effect unrealistic notions of beauty from fashion magazines have on women and how it's impossible to truly obtain the standard of beauty the fashion industry holds in high regard. The dresses are made out of romance novels (which have similar unrealistic standards of love and beauty) and therefore cannot be worn. Schumacher concludes her statement saying, "Completely without function, it represents how useless the feminine myths we have created are in real life."

Schumacher's dresses themselves are truly works of gorgeous, high-fashion art. Her collection was recently featured in the Build Her a Myth: Romance Novel Dresses exhibit at the Harold Washington Library Center. In an explanation of the exhibit on the library's website, we learn more about the artist's process:
"When Schumacher came across a box of discarded romance novels at the library, she knew she wanted to use them in her artwork. The feathery white pages became her medium as she transformed the old books into seductively beautiful yet unwearable dresses. Like the novels they are constructed from, the dresses represent an impossible mythology where love and relationships are all-consuming and eternally passionate, while exploring a universal narrative based on the real stories of women."

"Harlequin"

Yes, we are a magazine -- one that delves deeply into fashion, no less. But we totally agree with Schumacher's statement. Many times the ideals of beauty set by the fashion (and publishing) industry seem completely unattainable. It is our hope that every bride and groom can find someone in our magazine to whom she or he relates. Whether it's in a photo shoot, our gown gallery, our Real Weddings, our Spotlights on Style or even in an advertisement, we hope there's someone out there who matches you. We hope the standards we set define beauty as the love people share, not the way their clothes fit. 

"Vicki and the Vision"

Check out more of Carrie Ann Schumacher's amazing artwork on her website at carrieannschumacher.com

"Never the Prom Queen"



All artwork by Carrie Ann Schumacher and photos from carrieannschumacher.com.

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