Charlotte Kruk has the secret life of a super hero(ine).
High school teacher by day, rouge artist/designer mocking the fashion industry by night. Miss Kruk’s art captures a comforting and disturbing picture of our own consumerism.
“How brands constantly reinvent themselves to keep their brand fresh is a curiosity [to me],” she says. Kruk has taken this fascination with the disposable packaged society to a whole new level.
“These wearable sculptures are designed to 'slyly wink' at a culture that often compares women, particularly well-dressed women, to decorations, consumables, 'eye candy'," she says in her personal statement. "Initiating dialog on packaging, brand association, and power structure, these sculptures also direct a commentary on the gluttony and wastefulness of a disposable, packaged society.”
Despite the subversive, ridiculing message, her anti-fashion is awesome!
Sitting in Charlotte’s studio, an homage to Candy Land with large ceramic peppermints on the outer walls, is wonderful.
Her wearable art is her most recognizable work, but stepping into the studio you are greeted by many projects: Plastic Barbie™ legs (and I mean ONLY the legs) serve as a cool jewelry display; reels of Lipton Ice Tea misprints; drawers of thousands of candy wrappers; bracelets made from tape duct tubes; discarded Lite-Brite multi-colored translucent plastic pegs made into a choker necklace; recycled coffee can tins made into metal purses; and of course, her wearable art.
Charlotte has conceptualized her work to make a stronger statement. She explains that it is “disposable society fighting back!”
Kruk's famous recycled candy wrapper dresses are breathtaking. A few are on display at Simply Smashing boutique in Campbell.
"Miss Bonneville Salt Flats" is made from recycled "Tide" packaging, yellow vinyl and plastic.
"See's Worker B" is fabricated from the See's Chocolate fundraiser bars, plastic and fabric, a tribute to an early era See’s uniform.
“More Than 31 Flavors” Approximately 1000 BASKIN ROBBINS™ ice cream tasting spoons took Charlotte a month to complete.
Charlotte’s latest project, “Afterlife", is inspired by the Tooth Fairy (how could she NOT go there with Captain Candy?). Recycled Crest tubes and boxes of Dental Care toothbrush boxes make up the dress.
She collects wisdom teeth (no joke) that she will use for the pearl necklace. For the finale she is sewing hand-sized wisdom teeth out of fabric and attaching wings in Dubble Bubble gum wrappers. Curb your sweet tooth fair readers, or your teeth may end up on Charlotte Kruk’s wearable art dresses!