Lewis performs in the redesigned museum garments. Photo Credit: Gui Villalba PortelHannah Lewis (Fort Myers, FL)
March 2018. Performance documentation. Repurposed museum collection garments, fabric, mannequins, wood, found bubble wrap.

Dress-Up is comprised of vintage garments – sizes 2-4 – from Elsewhere’s collection that have been deconstructed and expanded to accommodate sizes 22-26. The altered clothes are displayed on mannequins that Lewis altered to reflect her own body’s measurements. An accompanying performance features the artist wearing the clothing as a living store display in Elsewhere’s storefront.

Inspired by Gina Alexandra Denton’s piece, Big Girl Wanna Play Too, Lewis created an option for plus-sized bodies within the Elsewhere collection wardrobe. Lewis’ work reflects on the growing need for inclusion in the fashion industry as well as the importance of practicing self-love and acceptance as a fat person.

The bold use of color and pattern challenges the notion that fat people must conceal their flaws and, instead, unapologetically celebrates the larger form. In making the alterations apparent, Lewis offers a basic blueprint for others who are interested in recreating existing garments.

Dress-Up is part of an ongoing series of works.

Staff Support: Emily EnsmingerKerri MubaarakGuido Villalba PortelFhalyshia OriansRiley KleveNava Levenson, & Kyra Gross

 Lewis performs in the redesigned museum garments. Photo Credit: Gui Villalba Portel