Welcome to VISUALS! My name is Dominique. I'm currently pursuing a Master's degree in Fashion Studies at Parsons School of Design in New York City. My passion lies at the intersection between fashion, culture, and social justice. That is why I created VISUALS. As a conditionally White passing woman of color, I try to communicate my cultural identity visually. Such as in this photo. This outfit was created by yours truly. The top I created during my undergrad, where I studied Apparel Design and Merchandising. This top was the first piece I had created that I could wear. This is another facet of the fashion industry I am passionate about. There are about 5 universities in the country that include plus-size apparel construction in their fashion design curriculums. That means that thousands of students are pursuing degrees in a subject that excludes 67% of women in the United States. Being a plus-size woman in a fatphobic society is a daily battle. Sometimes the battle is won by body positivity, such as in this photo, and sometimes it's lost, like having to alter these pants to fit my thick thighs because they don't make them in my size.
These photos were a part of a project where my group had to reconstruct garments to make outfits that represented each of our cultures. I chose the shirt as something that is near to my identity of being plus-size, and the pants I reconstructed with place mats as side panels. I chose these colors to exemplify my Creole identity, and show my struggle with learning and embracing an identity that I haven't directly been exposed to, but that makes up who I am. At first, after seeing this photo, I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed of people seeing my tummy and my arms being so openly exposed in their authentic state. This is when the battle is sometimes lost. But that cannot be the primary focus. If we focused only on losses, all we would do is lose.
I want VISUALS to be a space to show YOUR identity. To communicate the things that make up who you are through fashion and style. This is a part of my ongoing research, so I hope to expand this project to reach the audience it deserves. If you are interested in being featured, please contact me! Keep your eyes open for more content to come!