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Internationally acclaimed Wearable Artist  specializing in Avant Garde + Couture Fashion and Costume designs made from recycled materials.

An iCONEic
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.

Grace DuVal's (she/her) sewing machine table during the initial design phase.

The first sample of the 3D sculpted cone, resting on top of a bra cup for scale.


DuVal's (she/her) work table, featuring various prototypes, fabrics, paints, resins, and mica powders used for experimentation.

The artist reviews the initial 3D CAD designs in Fusion 360, confirming that the rendered design fulfills all specifications.


(L) The first bra cup being built via 3D printing, showing the inner support structures that ensure the object is strong and light.
(R) A profile view of the bra cup in mid-print. Vertical support beams are printed below the object to prevent planar distortion.


Engineer Julian Spring (he/him) focuses on an early sample, adjusting the settings on the 3D printer for a flawless finished product.


The artist's nighttime painting setup: a palette, paints, and an array of brushes.


DuVal (she/her) holds the first completed ice cream cone, painted by hand to lend texture, depth, and realism to the object.


Two bra cups, fresh from the 3D printer, await their first layer of paint.


An assortment of 3D printed elements sit drying after being primed.


Artist and professor Lindsey Whittle (she/her) assists with the completion of the bra at her home and art studio in Covington, KY.


Two bra cups air dry after receiving their final layer of paint.


The completed resin-coated cups and attached cones are placed onto the bra foundation for test fitting.

Performer Lucky Stiff (they/he) prepares for the photoshoot by applying makeup in the bathroom while listening to Frank Sinatra.


Color cards of 3D printed sprinkles lie on the studio table before being cut out by hand and attached to the bra via epoxy glue or hand sewing.


DuVal (she/her) undertakes finishing touches on the bra, sewing the remaining sprinkles on by hand.

DuVal (she/her) photographs Lucky Stiff (they/he) while they perform in the completed bra and Whittle (she/her) captures photos on her phone.
An elaborate photo environment was created inside of Pique Gallery in Covington, KY especially for this shoot.


Performer Lucky Stiff (they/he) models the completed bra.


Performer Lucky Stiff (they/he) models the completed bra.


Artists Lindsey Whittle (she/her) and Clint Basinger (he/him) perform as alter-egos Future Lindsey and Future Clint, showing off their time machine at
art gallery Pique in Covington, KY.


The artist holds polaroids taken throughout the course of the evening's photoshoots and performances. Pictured (L-R) are DuVal (she/her), Stiff (they/he),
Whittle (she/her), and Basinger (he/him) performing at art gallery Pique in Covington, KY.

A video recounts the entire adventure of bringing this Bizarre Bra to life.

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