Donna McCullough

Fashion is well known as a reliable reflection of cultural trends and historical events. On a personal level, it has become my creative vehicle for exploring and recording life events.

My inspiration arose from contemplating the dichotomy between the perception of women as fragile, delicate creatures, and the reality that most women are defined by resiliency and steely resolve. My work is about women and culture – women of fairy tales, of mythology, of fantasyand of course women in my life. I employ a juxtaposition of extremes such as lightness and gravity, suppleness and intransigence, to convey feminine sensibilities. Crafted of steel and embellished with flourishes of wire mesh, screening, cut-outs and bits of found objects, the dresses are at once both elegant and imposing. I use steel and various found metals including tin cans and vintage oil cans. Nearly all of the materials I use are recycled. I like the duplicitous nature of steel which can be manipulated to appear feminine and soft while actually maintaining its strength and rigidity—an expression in contrasts and complements. Through the dresses, I am combining opposites to activate harmonious and ethereal beauty.

Each piece takes shape out of my imagination and I feel that they are fresher and more alive because of it. I become immersed in the process and just allow it to happen. Each part building upon the other, becoming a joyous, mystical journey that is a surprise at the end.

My love of animals and nature also strongly influences my work. I enjoy bringing the animal spirit to life in my creations.

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