Allison Bonin


BFA Student

Major: Textile & Fashion Design

Graduation Year: 2016

Artist Statement:

The clothing I create runs the gamut of radical ready to wear fashion to theatrical costume that breaks societal presumptions about beauty, function, and purpose through the absurdity of its whimsical silhouettes, bright colors, and playful interactivity. Vibrant, unexpected color combinations are paired with intricate design work and unconventional materials to push the boundaries of prejudiced assumptions of wearability and functionality. Bold, larger than life prints and an inventive reinterpretation of classic shapes offers an alternative to mundane everyday apparel, and my costume work offers an inventive and refreshing outlook on classical performance wear. American society persistently constructs skewed interpretations and expectations about beauty and function in clothing. The sole purpose of “fashion” clothing is to flatter the body, enhancing features that play into our hyper sexualized culture. Unfortunately these preconceived notions are so strongly ingrained in our minds that we fall victim to believing these perspectives are the unshared, solitary option for the individual wishing to express themselves. What is being offered to consumers in today’s market is largely lifeless, and I am left starving for a more articulate and striking option. Wearing clothing doesn’t have to be a passive, hopelessly boring experience, but instead it should be a feast of color and textural options that make getting dressed inspiring; akin to playing a game. The activation of the garment on body can easily cause the wearer to experience a euphoria similar to childlike play, and it is in this nostalgia of childhood where the permission for absurdity and uncanniness thrive. Familiarity in colors and shapes meld together with unanticipated color to plunge the wearer into uncharted territory where there are no rules, except to have fun.


​​In 2012 Allison Bonin moved to Portland, Maine to pursue an education at the Maine College of Art with a focus on garment and textile design. She is highly influenced by costume and set designs of the performative arts such as ballet and circus; and enjoys collaborating with performers of all types; such as ballet, circus, and modern dance. Allison has interned with Portland Ballet’s costume designer, Amy Baxter, and as Pamela Moulton’s studio assistant she has completed a number of freelance work for several creative clients including making puppets; custom costumes; and the designing, building, and installation of sets. She silkscreen prints brightly colored textiles and designs sculpturally structured clothing. Her philosophy is that clothing should be whimsical and absurd; a type of play similar to that of children who aren’t afraid to dress as they like. Finishing up her senior year at MECA, she will graduate in Spring of 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion and textile design.