Internationally acclaimed Wearable Artist specializing in Avant Garde + Couture Fashion and Costume designs made from recycled materials.
Work of Art
written, photographed, and filmed by Grace DuVal
What do you get when you
cross Madonna's cone bra
with the biggest wearable art competition in the world?
Since 1989, Wellington, New Zealand has been the home of World of WearableArt (WOW). Playing host to over one hundred artists from around the world every year, this international wearable art competition showcases spectacular creations that Lady Gaga could
only dream of wearing.
Artist Grace DuVal (she/her), five-time WOW competitor and four-time WOW award winner, has been a passionate participant in the show since 2009. Divided into different themed sections, the show has one category for which it is most renowned: The Bizarre Bra. It's exactly what it sounds like, a section dedicated entirely to one small article of clothing that inspires many a pun and witticism. With a nod to Madonna's iconic Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra, DuVal designed a high fructose homage featuring two melting ice cream cones.
She christened it iCONEic.
The artist began by sculpting in Fusion 360 software, building each bra component digitally before having them 3D printed. Engineer Julian Spring (he/him) oversaw the printing process, optimizing machinery to ensure a seamless operation. Multiple iterations of each item were developed, honed, and manufactured, culminating in a nonstop, week-long printing bonanza. With pieces in hand, DuVal moved on to priming, sanding, and meticulously painting every item.
Finally, it was time to bring everything together for a final photoshoot.
DuVal flew to Cincinnati, OH where artist Lindsey Whittle (she/her) and husband Clint Basinger (he/him) live and work out of their home studio and art gallery, Pique. Performer and regular collaborator Lucky Stiff (they/he) flew in from Chicago to model. After finishing touches, the four artists spent the evening in Pique undertaking a magical photoshoot full of colorful performances and live music. Covered in purple cake icing and elaborate makeup, Stiff performed while DuVal photographed. Whittle and Basinger transformed into alter-egos Future Lindsey and Future Clint, showing off their time machine and riffing on their electric guitars. The night was closed by a release of confetti into the air, snow angels made in the piles of colorful paper on the floor.
And now this ice cream bra heads to New Zealand, where we wait until September when the bra will take the stage. Dripping and glistening, it will be as iCONEic as anything Madonna would wear.