The fashion industry’s industrial cut and sew techniques produce a polished garment, so polished in fact that it seems complete as is, closed to improvisation from the ‘outside’. But the design and construction of some garments are different, more like a work in progress, open to adaptation and repair and to building understanding about how things are made.
“Well it all started off at a workshop… I had recently got an embellishing machine… and was excited about the possibilities as to what you could do with. I started [the dress] in about 2008 from pieces of silk, cotton and velvet, added a bit to it and then it put it away for about two years… I took it out again in at the beginning of 2011 when I started making and making and making [using the embellishing machine] and I had to drape it around a dummy to get the shape of the dress and I’d add a piece. The great thing about the embellishing machine [because it doesn’t use thread] is that you can rip [the garment] apart and put more pieces in and rip it apart and do this, that and the other.”
Dublin - April 2012
Photograph by Des Moriarty