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

Alternative Dress Codes

The choices we make about what we wear are influenced by life present, lives past and our ideas about our future selves. Expressions of values, aspirations, heritage, understanding and the physical shape of our bodies build a rationale for dress that transcend narrow commercial views about fashion. Instead they give us broader perspectives that honour our reality as well as our aspirations; and connect our psyche with our fibre and fashion choices.

Fun wardrobe

“Most of the things I have are fun. I don’t feel like fashion should be so serious. I like things that remind me of my childhood. You need to show your personality through what you wear. This is mine. The jacket I actually got when I was a volunteer with Oxfam as a campaigner at festivals. …I just remember that moment of coming across it and being so overjoyed by the colours and just the technique of it.

The jumper I got at a flea market in Rotterdam. And usually I hate acrylic but this is just a massive silver jumper which I love. The shirt is a Harley Davidson shirt that I picked up in Paris. And it was one euro and it was such a jam packed shop, so many things to find. And I was just rummaging and rummaging around. I didn’t exactly need a denim shirt. But I was just drawn to it, the colour and how thick it was and actually I wear it most days now because it’s so warm and durable. It was probably some middle-aged man’s shirt...

The scarf was [unclaimed lost property] left in Selfridges… that’s where I work and I wear every day now. And again it’s acrylic and it doesn’t feel that great but it’s just so warm and I wrap it around and I use it as a hood when it rains.

 The skirt is just the most comfortable thing I’ve ever worn. It just fits so perfectly and I just love that moment when you just know it’s yours. And that’s the same with these shoes, my Dr. Marten’s that I bought off eBay. For some reason they were cheaper there than in the shop and I’ve had them for about four years now and every time that I wear them I feel like I stomp when I walk, I just have more of a confidence.”

London - December 2012
Photograph by Tim Mitchell