My first line of defense would never be to throw a punch. The initial reaction would be a quick thought and then to speak. In true anger, I become calm—protection from rash decisions. The layers of thoughts shield me and become a buffer to slow down the time. I turn to words to think and overthink as a way to protect myself from possible danger, mistakes, or regrets. Every sentence is rehearsed inside before aloud, and then the thoughts swirl around, almost in circles. I am always looking to grow, to improve. I don’t want to regret any waste of time. The repetition of thoughts solidifies an idea until I either decide to grow from it or erase and let it go.
With the imitation of snakeskin, I allow myself to only build a temporary outer shell so that I can create my identity but leave room for change. The symbol on the back of the garment represents imperfection and adventure, reminders to myself. The most significant protection is from me, my own judgment, and behavior. Swirling words have been hand-molded into the copper wire to illustrate the many words inside while the bold red symbolizes danger—an alert for the brain to grind into gear. The open silhouette of the jacket with the integration of spaces alludes to the idea that not everything connects or comes together. The words that were twisted into the wire have been distorted; they are the chaos of incomplete thoughts. From one side to the other, the chaos forms into layers and layers of overthinking with the scales overlapping one another and then peeling back at the collar and the sleeve, making room for more. The garment makes almost no sound as it moves down the runway, just as thoughts are internal, silent.
About the Design Showcase: During the spring 2020 semester, 10 emerging student designers were tasked with creating a one-of-a-kind garment using non-traditional materials and technology inspired by the exhibition Harriet Bart: Abracadabra and Other Forms of Protection.
After eight weeks of material testing, sketching in the galleries, writing, and work-shopping their designs with local artisans Marina Shimelfarb, Charlie Wagner, and the artist herself, Harriet Bart, the final designs are nothing short of radical, innovative, and deeply personal.
The Seven Forms Student Design Showcase is presented in partnership with the UMN College of Design, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance and Juut Salon Spa.
Erin Pouba is an apparel design major at the University of Minnesota. As a designer, Erin appreciates the details. Her inspiration stems from personal experience, change, and the details around her. She loves the opportunity for expression of unlimited messages and the world of creativity. Thinking deeply into each of her projects, every aspect has a meaning and reasoning behind it, from the materials used to the color and the sound the garment makes as it is worn.