What if you never had to pick out an outfit again? What if you had a JUMPSUIT—an ungendered monogarment—for every day of the week? The Rational Dress Society suggests that the rejection of choice (otherwise defined as the yoke relentless consumption within the capitalist paradigm) might reveal greater possibilities and better ways of living.

In this workshop, you will learn to construct your own JUMPSUIT, following a pattern designed by the Rational Dress Society. During the workshop, instructors from the Rational Dress Society will teach you about the origins of modern counter-fashion and the contemporary garment industry.

Learn the histories of separatist and utopian communities who proposed social reform vis-à- vis experiments in alternative dress, including the nineteenth-century feminist movement, the Oneida Community, the Soviet Avant-Garde, and the Italian Futurists. Discuss neoliberal economic policies of the late twentieth century, the rise of fast fashion in the twenty-first, and how this recent historical shift has led to the widespread abuse of garment workers and increasing environmental devastation.

Learn About The Rational Dress Society and JUMPSUIT
The Rational Dress Society is a counter-fashion collective founded by Chicago-based designer Abigail Glaum-Lathbury and Los Angeles-based artist Maura Brewer. Together they produce JUMPSUIT, an open source, ungendered monogarment designed to replace all clothes in perpetuity.

JUMPSUIT is disseminated in two forms, a premade garment and an open source pattern, available to download free of charge. Rooted in the visual language of denim and the history of work-wear, JUMPSUIT imagines the possibility of an egalitarian garment, liberated from the signifiers of class, race, and gender that inscribe our usual relation to clothes. JUMPSUIT accommodates 248 different body sizes using non- gendered terminology. The design draws on histories of revolutionary fashion, from the sans-culotte movement of the early nineteenth century to the Futurist Tuta of the 1910s. JUMPSUIT accommodates a wide variety of body types while preserving a manufactured sameness among individual wearers, thus drawing upon histories of feminist and utopian garment design.

JUMPSUIT is a wearable garment, but it is also a conversation—a collective reimagining of our relationship to dress. To this end, the Rational Dress Society organizes lectures, performances, and make-your-own JUMPSUIT workshops in order to facilitate public debate around questions of fashion, identity, and consumption.

JUMPSUIT has been exhibited nationally and internationally, at venues including MoMA and Art in General in New York and the MCA in Chicago. The Rational Dress Society received an International Cultural Exchange Grant from the Swedish Art Grants Committee in 2015, and was the recipient of CCI’s Creative Economic Development Grant in 2016 and 2018. Media outlets including The Guardian, Paris Review, and CBS News have covered the JUMPSUIT.

Maura Brewer is a Los Angeles-based visual artist. She received her MFA from University of California, Irvine in 2011 and was a 2014–2015 Whitney Independent Study Program fellow. Her videos and performances have been exhibited internationally. She teaches at The University of Southern California.

Abigail Glaum-Lathbury
is a Chicago-based designer, and assistant professor of fashion at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For the past ten years, she has produced ready-to-wear collections under her labels Elmidae and Abigail Glaum-Lathbury. She has participated in many juried markets and showrooms, selling her collections internationally.

We are also pleased to extend complimentary need-based community tickets by request to all ticketed events. To learn more, please email[email protected].

Leading support for Public Programs at Bard Graduate Center comes from Gregory Soros and other generous donors.