An international fashion research project exploring the 'craft of use'

Patina of Use

With our garments, as with our bodies, the passing of time leaves its mark. Our relationship with these imprints is complex in both domains. With clothes, we sometimes discard pieces because they are ageing, dated, jaded or worn; at other times we buy vintage or pre-distressed pieces, coveting that which looks old. Yet these both overlook the power and pleasure of marking the passing of time as it is recorded in our clothes; the forging of memories, building of knowledge, evolution of appearance.

Second skin tattoo

“This used to be jeans. It is a skirt now. ...[When it was] trousers, I was at a music festival and I fell down and broke my leg…. My housemate drove me to hospital. They had to cut the leg [off the jeans] to put me in a cast so they were completely damaged. I was really bummed out about ‘cause they were really great jeans and I’m really funny about jeans… I found them in the charity shop by chance… So after a few months I turned them into a skirt and I hand stitched some song lyrics on it. I really wanted to get a tattoo but I felt that it would be too much. But then I thought I would just have it on my clothing because it’s almost like that would be there forever and it feels almost like, for me, getting a tattoo ‘cause it will stay on your favourite piece of clothing. And ever since them I’ve been hand stitching some lyrics on my favourite clothing...” 

London - December 2012
Photograph by Tim Mitchell

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