You’ll have to walk past Club Kid killer Michael Alig’s creepy paintings to get to Australian food artist Ishara Jayakody’s art at the Select Art Fair, but it’s worth it if you’ve never seen a bagel suit before. A bagel suit is exactly what it sounds like: A suit made out of bagels.
The dope dough wear is meant to represent New York City’s identity through food and fashion. “I had a look around New York and thought food was a really good representation [of New York],” says Jayakody. “Everyone seems to have a bagel in their hand,” so it was natural to use the baked goods to “represent the hustle and fuel that runs New York City,” she explains.
The 27-year-old artist, who maintains a full-time job as a management consultant, has created clothing out of pasta, candy, and even eggshells. “I make fashion out of food because I try to capture the childlike state that we all forget sometimes,” she says.
Ess-a-Bagel, Bagel Oasis and Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company collectively donated about 400 bagels for the project, which includes a wearable suit jacket and a sculpture. Jayakody used a range of materials, including acrylic, glue, twine, lacquer and varnish to hold the crumbly “fabric” together.
The most pressing question, of course, is: How does it feel to wear bagels? According to bagel model Rajiv Sharma (his official title, henceforth), the vest is “warm” and “insulating.”
In the coming weeks, you may have an opportunity to try it on yourself. Whether at the Select Art Fair this weekend, or as it tours different locations (and bagel shopts) around the city this month, Jayakody says, “If people want to put it on, they can put it on.”
(Top Photos: Ishara Jayakody, Bottom photos: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)