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Updated: Aug 1, 2021

As seen in the the Sunshine Coast Daily

Feeling lost is not always connected to fear, often the feeling of being lost can be comforting – lost in your thoughts, lost in a book, lost in a moment …

What about the feeling of wearing a dress so wonderful you could feel lost within yourself yet still consoled? Or perhaps the connection to past adventures in a particular frock are so precious that by wearing it you feel safe, energised or adventurous?

There is much more to a dress than fabric and thread, but just how deep the weave winds through our emotions is often underestimated.

A dress is an incredibly powerful piece.

Recently while navigating through her own personal upheaval, local visual artist Jennie Rutz began to delicately unravel the emotional connection we have with our treasured wardrobes, giving depth and life to this special bond through a series of brushstrokes titled “Lost in the Dress

The first of the collection “Lost in the lounge” shows a woman in a magnificent orange dress curled up on a lounge, seemingly taking a nap.

Look closely and you will see there is so much more hiding within this scene.

For Rutz this piece defined the emotions she felt when stepping away from what was, while trying to look forward to what would be.

Her character while feeling vulnerable is able to draw strength from the safety and power provided by her armour – a spectacular dress.

“Dresses may be chosen to remedy feelings we have before getting dressed,” Rutz said in her blog.

“They may be selected to enhance confidence, for protection, to gain attention, or to blend in.”

Each of Jennie’s paintings bring to life an elegant character who finds herself lost in varying settings.

In her blog, Rutz hints at what may be taking place by reaching into her own memories and moments but ultimately she allows the viewer to decide how the story plays out.

“A dress has the ability to influence the state of its wearer as well as its surroundings. It’s very personal,” she said.

The “lost in the dress” collection, though in the guise of fashion art, beckons you to peer closer, to see past the dress or perhaps try it on for a moment and become lost in the world before you.

You wonder what book is she reading that has her so captivated, oblivious to the world around her? She, a picture herself in this very moment, her moment.

Each painting invites you to walk through your own memories thinking about their special fusion with particular pieces in your wardrobe.

Time spent with great friends, an amazing concert, a first date or perhaps other moments you don’t look upon so fondly, the clothing attached to these has likely been long removed from your wardrobe in an effort to push aside the unease attached to them.

Though many may express their disinterest in fashion, there is no denying each of us has something in our wardrobe we treasure and not for the fringe, feather or frills though they are fabulous, it is for the memories they hold, or the way we feel when we are wearing them, because no matter how wonderful your washing machine these feelings will never wash out.

To read more about each of Rutz’s paintings in the "Lost in the dress" collection or to view her other original pieces of art visit or find her on Instagram.


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