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

Perfect Piece

Consumerist fashion is all about what is right on trend, right for uniform mass-manufacture and ultimately right for the figures on a balance sheet. Lost in the mix are a garment’s finesse, fit, appropriateness; and the space to nurture individuality, skills and confidence in a wearer to recognise and revel in the ‘rightness’ of a particular piece.

Finding the right partnership between wearer and garment is the difference between using a piece time and again or throwing it away. Each partnership, like each person, is different. Matching one with the other and being open to the almost limitless variety of possibilities this enables, underscores fashion system diversity.

Fits all owners perfectly

"This dress was bought from an Op Shop for my sister by her best friend bought for her for her birthday, years and years ago. And her mom altered it by hand to fit my sister perfectly.

And she wore it for a number of years but, because it is so old it is slowly disintegrating, tearing at the seams and that sort of thing. My sister has no really skill in altering or fixing clothes at all, so she just cast it off to me and said, ‘I can’t wear this, it’s falling apart to shreds,’ even though it fitted her immaculately. On me it was just a bit tight and uncomfortable and so I pulled apart all the hand-sewing that had been done and now it fits me perfectly.

…You know it seems to have fitted everyone perfectly that’s owned it. A lot of it has been done by hand and there’s no overlocking. It’s all French seamed. You’d think it was made at home but it has a tag on it though no care label or anything. So I think it has just been altered and altered and altered.

But I ironed it last night for the first time since I’ve owned it. And just everytime that I looked at something, there is some little alteration that has been done, so it just feels like a constant work in progress to be the perfect fit for whoever owns it."

Wellington, New Zealand - March 2013
Photograph by Aliscia Young