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.

Back mending

"I have a huge mending pile that is sort of completed and added to at a rate that means the pile never goes down. I am not too bad at invisible mending but I also, when it gets beyond that I decided that the mend would become a feature and I almost patch with abandon, knowing it will be seen and deciding that it would be... Almost advertising the fact that it is mended.

The shirt… I think the piece was not made for somebody who works so much as I do forward. I’m a weaver, so... I don’t know, the front seems to be fine, and it seems also odd, it looks like I’ve just added the patches for effect but there is actually significant wear under it and I haven’t patched where it hasn’t needed patching."

Melbourne - March 2013
Photograph by Paul Allister