Bonnie-jo Smith


Untitled; Size 8 oxford shoes: leather, zippers; 10.5 x 4 x 4.5 inches

Through reconstituting, rearranging, and reconstructing the functional elements of fashion, my work elevates ordinary materials into precious, ornamental objects. Zippers, aglets, hand-stitching, leather and hair are divorced from their traditional purpose and place. The construction lines of accessories and shoes are exposed and enhanced. This new perspective erases the original function of the material and it becomes something to be rediscovered as avant-garde, wearable sculpture.

The process begins with an exploration of materials, which are deconstructed and rearranged until they transform into a foreign, futuristic, and unfamiliar shape. I am deeply rooted in the physical experience of construction, such as the touch, balance and expression of fabric, skins, hair and metal.

Detailed, obsessive hand-work creates each piece. Hours are spent stitching, braiding, wrapping, and shaping. New textures are created through repetition of elements and unusual placement of materials. In a world of fast fashion and utilitarian design, my work revels in the timeless fascination with beauty, decoration, and luxury.