The Hundred Dresses Project

The Hundred Dresses Project Meets Social Commentary

After reading the book The Hundred Dresses, seven juniors and seniors in Advanced Studio made a piece in response to a related assignment called “Fitting In.” These pieces are part of the gallery exhibit, The Hundred Dresses Project. The book, which inspired the exhibit, originally written for children, is a parable speaking for kindness, inclusion and the courage to stand up for justice. As a group, students brainstormed the following ideas as ways to interpret the title, “Fitting In” as it relates to the book and contemporary society. Their ideas included:

  • Immigration/Assimilation
  • Body Image/ Media’s role in promoting “ideal” body types
  • Cultural ideas of traditional “dress”
  • Finding Affinity Groups
  • Living up to the expectations of others
  • Popularity/Social isolation
  • “Dress Code”
  • Us vs. Them/ “Othering”

Their dress pieces are done with cut-paper and rely on the manipulation of positive and negative shape. Each dress form is four feet high.

Students wrote their own statement, displayed under their piece, explaining how they interpreted the challenge. A few of the pieces speak with a decidedly Feminist voice, a few others focus on the gap between outer appearance (including the assumptions of others) and inner reality, and one student’s piece honors a particular culture’s decorative design traditions.

The student artists are: Brandon Ameglio, Claire Dubois, Calla King-Clements, Riley Mayes, Isadora Osgood, Abby Pipkin and Elizabeth Ralston.

Their pieces can be seen in the Outer Gallery through December 14, 2016. View the slideshow below.

207.774.5721 | 360 Spring Street, Portland, Maine | Directions | My Waynflete