Jane McKeating

Tailored Ladies

Ideas for Tailored Ladies emerged from casual conversations with fellow post-menopausal women friends who find themselves with changed body shapes. The interpretation of the word ‘tailored’ is a reversal of the familiar usage in garment making, to reflect instead the desire to tailor the body to fit a well-loved garment rather than adjusting the garment to fit the body.

The story is of a particular occasion where there was a realisation this tailoring was an impossibility and so a humorous solution is proposed instead.

Her friend Nicola admitted that she was finally giving away her favourite dresses, hung hopefully for decades, knowing she would never fit them again. Confessing her own wardrobe contained 39 ‘too small’ items, she responded with the suggestion of trimming off a bit of themselves to squeeze in and dance.

The work is screen printed with figures placed as though they have been cut out, but have come to life, dancing on the cotton sheeting, pattern markings describing body contours. It is designed to be a light-hearted narrative about the yoyo diet obsessions of women who oscillate between dress sizes in a constant battle against a naturally occurring body shape shift.