Sage Townsend


The Cu(n)t Collection specifically explores how the objectification of female genitalia, genital anxiety, surgery and female genital mutilation has a negative effect on women’s psychological and physical sexual health. By representing female genitalia in a variety of strong visual and tactile sculptural forms to be worn boldly upon the head or carried as a bag, my collection aims to convey that body diversity and women’s ownership of their bodies is to be applauded and encouraged, and that women should not be pressurised by dominant cultural notions of the ‘ideal’ female form.

The concept behind the Diaphat is how a fashion accessory such as the hat can help to promote attitudes towards contraceptive protection and how fashion can be used as a campaigning tool to raise awareness and promote women’s wellbeing. Referring to female genitalia, I focused on contraceptives, in particular the diaphragm. I am interested in the protective aspect, design and how since the 1830’s it has empowered women. My aim was to present this in the form of a contemporary piece of headwear, to offer the wearer a sense of sexual liberation in the context of contraceptives.

In juxtaposition to the diaphragm I also looked at kitchenware, in particular Tupperware. I am interested in how the protective element of both the Diaphragm and Tupperware governs the design. Tupperware with its historic female connotation propels itself as a very intriguing subject matter to explore. Regarded as a remnant of 1950s sexism that keeps women in the kitchen, the saleswoman Brownie Wise originally pioneered Tupperware as a means of liberating women in a business sense, creating an enterprise on women selling to women. It seems Tupperware was, for the era, a symbol of liberation, albeit one that seems positively archaic from today’s perspective.