Aoife and Madeleine chose to provoke the viewer to consider issues of gender inequality through the design of a corset worn over a suit – a Corsuit. The contrast between the two garments highlights the differences in social expectations and opportunities for individuals based on their gender. The female corset historically represents the constraints and rigid gender norms imposed upon women, while the suit is seen as a symbol of professionalism and authority traditionally associated with men. The combination of the two is a powerful gender-neutral statement-wear which provokes contemplation on the limitations and expectations placed on individuals.

The tailored suit comprises of a jacket and shorts with skirt overlay, and a structured leather corset. This is embellished with copper foil glass elements using a “half foil” technique. The fabric for both the suit and corset have been salvaged and upcycled using discarded upholstery, denim and leather otherwise destined for landfill. The glass elements have been sourced from an eco-friendly provider and are made from 98% crushed old glass with 2% mineral oxides.


Artist Bio

Sustainable Irish fashion designer based in Derry, Aoife Harvey graduated with a first class honours degree in Fashion & Textiles and went on to create her own waste-to-wardrobe fashion label, AH Designs. Aoife has received multiple awards and won the BBC’s “A Stitch Through Time” fashion competition. Her inspiration comes from the desire to transform something old into something new and to showcase to others how they can do the same. When designing, she always starts with the fabric first, using reclaimed, deadstock, or vintage materials to construct her unique designs.

Madeleine Hellier is an artist and workshop facilitator working with glass for more than a quarter of a century across traditional staining and leading, Tiffany glass, fusing and repair. Madeleine has participated in numerous exhibitions in Ireland and is an invited artist participating in the Hugh Lane Gallery education and outreach programme.