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Sami Ben Larbi

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Fashion is art

For the show Fashion is Art I created a line of street wear clothing with concealed inflatable chambers. A blower hidden in a tote bag inflates the garment to reveala latex chamber. The garments are worn as everyday clothing, allowing the wearer to create a defined personal space by transforming the garments as needed or desired. The inflated clothes are personal and public, self-centered and self-conscious.

The use of inflation allows the participant to have a direct and physical responseto the work. The inflation creates an imaginary environment permitting the participant to explore and experience their altered state of being.

The use of garments as a vehicle for my work draws on our familiarity and understanding of the basic functions and aesthetics of clothing. Clothes are a personal statement and an element of social classification. The latex used to create the inflated chambers is a sensual material with various sexual, disposable and playful connotations. The material places the participant at odds with its familiar use. Because latex is a fragile material, the wearer is acutely aware of their attire and the latex chamber becomes an extension of the body and mind.