Open and Adjust
Garments can be reworked to meet changing needs. The knowledge and skills to open up a garment and adjust it to fit enrich and embolden society. They remind us about ingenuity and resourceful possibility and help replace consumption with action.
“So this is a slip attached to a piece of wool attached to a petticoat. The petticoat is something that I bought at a vintage store and I wore it as a dress quite a lot with as a sash just as a very short dramatic dress because it used to be about twice as thick as this so it was almost of like a cupcake.
Then for the first iteration of my wedding last year I had to make something quite quickly to wear under a dress and so I attached this slip from another dress to this wool which was just a long piece of wool so that I could wear that under the dress. And then when I had the second part of my wedding a year later, I had my sister quickly pin the petticoat on because I needed more volume under the second dress. It is such a Frankenstein of different outfits and this has been used in so many different ways… it is so versatile because it has so much texture and structure.
You know I feel decidedly uncomfortable in things that are finished by others and ‘perfect’, closed off because of their preciousness and particularly their costliness. So I return to things that are unique and handmade and to the freedom of knowing I can cut something up because it was inexpensive and second hand. But there are a lot of ‘failures’ and sorrow over things that have gone wrong and unwearable and I always feel terribly insecure about the fact that maybe they are also shabby or unsophisticated, not ‘finished’, that I’m not cool enough to carry it off. I have so many things I’ve made that I don’t have the confidence to wear.
London - December 2012
Photograph by Tim Mitchell