In the Press

A feature by Corpus Curation on Instagram, created by Beth Costley who was so kind to feature my work. Beth focuses her curation and research around art created for the body, and the process of making.

Sydney Schroen (she/her) is a textile artists based in New York. Primarily working with upcycled and vintage materials, she designs bespoke corsetry and handbags for her followers on @swayedstature.

For Sydney, being a maker of wearable art means that the body - both her own and her client’s - drives her creative practice. This features in Sydney’s work in two key ways, “in a literal sense I model many of my pieces for social media and listing purposes. But in another sense, as a woman who designs womenswear, I am primarily designing for the female body, so everything I design is something I am ultimately checking on myself. Not everything I make is ultra-feminine, but femininity and flattering the female body are also important to me from a design perspective.”

From start to finish Sydney’s process is intuitive – guided by an overwhelming “urge to work on something”. “It’s just an inner feeling” she says. Her designs begin with the textures and colours of her materials, “I start pulling fabrics out of the random spots I have it stashed in my apartment and start laying them out together. Usually it’s a new variation of a broader design or style I’m currently working with already.” Being led by the body rather than written patterns or guides means that for Sydney “the hard[est] part is remembering it. I’m horrible at writing ideas down. I never learned fashion sketching either so I’m lucky if I can decipher my own notes!”

Me: What draws you towards making wearable art?

Sydney: “Lovely question. What I think is so amazing about fashion, is its ability to incorporate such a variety of mediums. Especially when you stretch into costuming and couture; the material and medium options are almost endless.”

“Two artists who truly impacted me as a girl growing up were Alexander McQueen and Iris Van Herpen. And there are so many more as well, you can refer to the 2019 MET CAMP Fashion Exhibit for others. But the first to show me that fashion was also art, art for the body, was McQueen. Van Herpen showed me that alternative, harsh textiles like plastic and metal could be designed delicately enough to be worn as couture. Their work was impactful to me, in terms of how far fashion can “stretch”.

My personal favourite of Sydney’s designs (image 2 & 3) features a custom needlepoint section depicting the Virgin Mary and upcycles packaging material from @chanelofficial to make straps for the garment.

Indeed, unusual, and unexpected materials often feature in Sydney’s designs, “what is important to me about my work is that its sustainable, and everything is one of a kind. It’s just me working on each order, so a lot of care and attention is put into each piece I create. Not every single corset contains vintage or up-cycled elements, but many do, and as everything is made to order in small quantities, I minimize the material waste I create!”.

All the corsets features in this post are made from upcycled materials

Me: The central mission of this page is to look at the connection between a body of work, the body of the work, and the body of the creator – do you see a relationship between these elements in your art?

Sydney: “Hmmm, well. Something that I love and appreciate about handmade garments is that they contain so much more love and care than something mass produced. So when I am working on corset orders, it could be any time of day while also doing any number of things, after dinner, between errands, what I do is so interwoven into my life so each piece means so much to me.”

“It is so rewarding to send (a corset) off to someone who will hopefully love it as much as I do. Creating something new and wearable out of something that was previously not, is such a fun and satisfying process. My shopping habits have changed since I started my business as well. I support a lot more small scale designers such as myself, partially because I am more aware of them, but also because I believe you can’t expect others to support your work if you don’t do the same.

Sydney’s upcoming project is a collection of corsets made using fabric that she has hand painted and dyed herself . Reflecting her passion for sustainable - one of a kind garments, these corsets will feature “vintage textiles, embellishments and embroidery.” “I plan to release (the corsets) soon” says Sydney, “I’m so excited to work on them and share sneak peeks!”

You can see all this behind the scenes content and commission Sydney to make one of her gorgeous corsets for you at @swayedstature .