Clothes That Tell Stories

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I love clothes that wear thin and fade and take on the shape of their wearer. Especially in these days of so-called “fast” and “disposable” fashion.

These are my winter gloves given to me by my dad.  They’re a little big for me and have kept the shape of my dad’s hands, I’m still coaxing them to mould to mine.

These gloves and my last post got me thinking during this most consumption driven time of the year.

I have a great dislike for “ready aged” garments; jeans sold with faded patches and rips, I feel it’s a reflection of our impatient society that people can’t wear a garment long enough to achieve this cherished wear and tear organically. Authenticity and history has to be earned and takes time.

I love to see an authentically aged, worn and torn garment with a bit of honest mending. Take a look at Tom of Holland‘s visible mending work and a gorgeous collaboration he recently worked on with Brighton vintage shop Wolf & Gypsy.

If you want more, also have a search online for Japanese boro textiles; and the quilts of Gees Bend. Just beautiful and a beauty that was born out of necessity and functionality that makes it all the more beautiful in my book.

“Slow Fashion” and “Slow Textiles” are ideas that have been around for a while in the textile art world, but seem to be gaining some momentum in the crafting world. I wonder, is it because this insatiable impatience for a quick fix that we all seem to have is now creeping into our sewing? I saw this great video on the BBC website recently about designer Carin Mansfield who sells beautiful clothes that are crafted to last and “Slow Stitch” a book by textile artist Claire Wellesley-Smith has been on my wish list for too long. Ruth Singer is another textile artist that has written some great books on textile manipulation and uses a lot of “slow” textile processes in her work and her current exhibition “Narrative Threads” explores the emotions, histories, stories and memories caught up in textiles.

Creativity is always at its best with limited materials or techniques available, it’s a great practice to test your creativity, give it a try.  Anyone can throw money at a project, it takes true creativity to make the best of what you have and I find work in this style to be the most inspiring.

I hope you enjoy your sewing in 2016 and cherish the process as well as the end result.

2 responses to “Clothes That Tell Stories

  1. Great post. Clothes that tell a story are wonderful things. In relation to pre aged jeans I recently heard on radio 4 (ofcourse) about textile workers developing a fatal illness called silicosis caused by spraying jeans with sand in order to age them for our fashion.I feel like the voice of doom now.

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    • That “distressing” process is really harmful for workers and all because we don’t keep things long enough for it to happen naturally. It’s so bizarre I can’t really get my head round it.

      Like

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