Slonina told BuzzFeed that the most labor-intensive design was the 8 foot tall pine cone dress.
“It took six weeks to gather and clean the sap off the cones, then meticulously attach them to a wire form I constructed in the shape of a dress.”
She added that the reason this dress took the longest as she did it entirely on her own without the help from volunteers, until they helped her climb into the dress once it was complete.
Slonina says that the most special dress was the corn dress in Minnesota because the farmer who donated the land and corn to the project died not long after it was completed.
She has kept in touch with the farmer Ray Sonnenberg’s family, adding: “My memories of him were so sweet and funny, and they even put a big framed collage of the Corn Dress out at his memorial service.”
Although the response to her project has been incredibly positive, she received criticism for her “Garbage Dress” in New York City.
The first time she ever visited New York as a young artist was during a massive garbage strike. “It left a lasting impression on me to see mountains of garbage piled so high on busy city sidewalks.”
However, she did not intend to create something ‘ugly’ for the metropolis of art, beauty and fashion: “I strived to create a ‘couture’ jet-black, fashionable New York dress, that just happened to be made from garbage bags. To me, this piece represents all the dramatic contrasts inherent to New York: wealth and poverty, art and homelessness – beauty and trash.”
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