Open Works – The Rhythm of Time and Space

Beautiful Bodies

An installation by Susanna Treacy


10 Original Ideas:

1. Fashion through movement

I made a makeup case that could turn inside out and be worn as a shirt last semester. I’m interested in how things that are adaptable can affect time.

2. Attractive Body Shape

As a fashion major, I am aware of how much ideal body shape has changed over time. I would like to represent them all once to make all the ideals from different decades exist/interact at one time.

3. Plastic Surgery

I find plastic surgery interesting because it freezes/slows time (appearance).

4. Miley Cyrus Persona

Yes, ill admit i’m a fan. But, she is a very interesting representation about how your attitude/persona can manipulate time perception. There was even a class held at Skidmore College about her.

5. Track Races

As a runner, I find it interesting how OBSESSED a group can be with getting one second off your best “time.”

6. Poor vs. Rich

Interested in how how much economic stability effects the speed of a person’s life.

7. Logos

Even logo’s of top brands change, yet sometimes they go unnoticed.

8. “Timeless” things

Representing timeless quotes in a series of pictures from many different time periods. (always applicable)

9. Social Media

Facebook, for example, keeps better record of time than anything else. Photos, comments, links.

10. New York vs Suburb

Growing up in a small town right outside NYC, i am shocked at how much faster my life is living here.



Initial Pitch: Body Image (#2 – Attractive Body Shape)

For my installation, I am going to focus on ideal body images throughout time. (20th-21st century). Every decade, styles change in fashion, and a contributing factor to changes in style are changes in what a “beautiful” figure looks like. Decades are defined by women’s image. In the 60’s, woman were strived to be skinny/adolescent like, in the 50’s woman wanted to be very curvy, jump forward to the 90’s, woman wanted to achieve the Kate Moss “heroin-chic” look, which was muscular and skinny. But what if we didn’t single out one image? What if all of these ideals were represented together? Would each “time period” be recognizable if all the styles and shapes were mixed?

To create this installation, I want to use mix all the time periods together, so they can coexist in one space. I want to create life size black figure shapes of different body ideals from different decades. They will not be arranged in chronological order. Also, I would use photoshop to mix different makeup styles on features of the face and hang the photos.

I think it is important to represent time in this way because it draws attention to a relevant issue. Instead of singling out one image, like American society has done in every decade in the past, focusing equally on many images eliminates how time affects what is considered beautiful.


Process and Drawings:

Body Shapes Time pitch



Drawing #1

First, I drew different body shapes that were each considered attractive in a certain decade. For my installation, I wanted them to be life size. I also wanted them to all be black figures, so the viewer would focus on the shape. My thought was that if all of these body types were displayed together, then the viewer wouldn’t single out one shape.

Drawing #2

As my thinking about my topic progressed, I realized that my initial approach has not only been done before, but it has proved to be ineffective. There are many ad’s today that display women of all shapes and sizes to send a message that every shape is beautiful. However, when you open a top magazine, such as Vogue, today’s ideal shape is still the only one displayed. I brought my sketches into photoshop, and when I flipped them upside down I thought they resembled shadows. It made shape feel less significant. I added skeletons to show that the human form is timeless.


Mind Map:



Video Component:

Information Panel:

Open Works Poster

Final Installation:



Goal of this installation:

What should be society’s primary focus: The human soul. The timeless qualities of women that never change. They are human beings, who experience emotions, and have a lot of depth as people.

What should be society’s secondary focus: Shape. It should not be as significant as what’s on the inside, but like a shadow,  realistically you can’t ignore that it is there.


Maintaining a healthy balance between work and play is a lifelong challenge that begins from the delicate time of childhood. Discipline, hard work and success are best complimented by play, laughter and friendship. As a Fashion Design major with a focus in childrenswear, I have discovered that my smartest ideas have spawned from my silliest moments. Living in New York City has given me endless opportunities to seek adventure and fun. I take those experiences into the studio at Parsons School of Design and try to create something new and exciting. I design garments that are multi-functional for a child. Rompers that double as sports practice attire, or dresses that double as art smocks are garments that encourage children to succeed in their areas of interest, while providing functionality for their busy schedules. Recently, I took this concept a step further and began to design school attire that incorporates crafty features that allow children to play with their clothes. Tops you can paint on, vests you can weave together, and jackets with patches you can take on and off give a child a fun activity that allows them to express themselves. Using classic silhouettes and clean lines, combined with non-traditional materials and bold color pops, I try to give recognizable staple pieces something new and unique. I don’t research ideas; I let them come to me naturally. I often go to toy stores, playgrounds, and bookstores and let my inner child run free. Usually, I will stumble across something that sparks a new idea. Next, I begin to design. My 2D designs are guided by my 3D discoveries. I can’t draw a garment until I know how and if it will work. To begin, I create tons of swatches to test combinations of fabrics and attachments. Next, I test different crafts and transformative ideas. Once I know what works, I begin to draw my designs in Illustrator. I use simple silhouettes, which serve as a canvas for the more intricate features. The challenge is to create something that is simple, smart, and durable, while still appearing chic and stylish. In a society where kids are pressured with increasingly heavier loads of homework and unrealistic standards for success, it is very difficult for so many to find a healthy balance between work and play, which is crucial. If I could create something that gives them the ability to play and boost their confidence, then I would feel like I made a difference. Going forward, I will continue to build on this concept and expand my knowledge of craft and wearable tech. Working more directly with children during my process will allow me to connect with their ideas and opinions. In order to design for a kid, sometimes I have to think like one. One day, I hope to start my own line and share my vision with the world. I believe everyone should spend their lives smiling, not stressing. As Mary Poppins said, “in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Find the fun and the job’s a game!”

1 Comment

  1. John Roach · May 22, 2015 Reply

    Nicely done Susanna!

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