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.

Style belief

“I wear a lot of Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garcons and I also have one or two Alexander McQueen scarves and things like that. Many of my clothes, I’ve had for a long time. I think one of the things I’ve always believed in is how you evolve your own personal style and within that should be able to mix over years, individual pieces.

So what I’m wearing now… the coat is sort of six years old, the scarf is probably five years old, the shoes are five years old whereas the small jacket I’m wearing is about six months old. So it’s that idea of trying to use clothes to say something more about myself or how I wish to be seen as opposed to just buying things every season and getting rid of them.

I give some of my other pieces away to friends or family or to charity shops and sometimes I’ll get a new piece and I will hardly wear it, I’ll wear it once or twice and then I will suddenly wear it more. I have also got some pieces that I keep even though I don’t really wear them and I can’t really let them go… they have some sort of sentimental [value] or I particularly like them but they’ve lost their shape a bit.

 I think I understand [my personal style] more now. I think probably when I was younger and had less money… I would perhaps have vintage pieces so I think its always been there its just I’m more conscious of it now. I understand it better and believe in it more.”

London - December 2012
Photograph by Tim Mitchell

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