The fashion industry perpetuates a hierarchical system where the only significant role the consumer is given is at the point of purchase. Therefore, the 'use phase' is conventionally not a consideration for the designer. Nevertheless, alternative and resourceful user behaviours have survived and are being practiced (see Local Wisdom stories), helping garments remain relevant to the owner in fit and style over time. The way a garment is constructed or how its seams are finished can invite and allow the owner to manipulate, adjust or add to it. How can a designer encourage this interaction? And which seam signals: 'don't mess with me!'? Anja will systematically investigate and test garment 'treatments' to compile a sample library, which will help designers make these decisions when designing with one foot firmly in the life of the user.
Anja Crabb is a 2013 MA Fashion and the Environment graduate at London College of Fashion, which she undertook after working several years in industry as a designer.