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

Super Long Life

Making a garment last is very different to making a long-lasting garment. Enduring use is often difficult to predict. It is specific and personal and linked more with ways of thinking, experiences and memories than materials. Finding ways to access these may be critical to third, fourth or fifth lives.

No one else has it

"I am wearing my favourite outfit; I have been wearing this outfit for twenty years of my life I would say. I think the boots are just about to go, I have had them resoled three times and re-zipped twice... I’ve mended the dress by putting extra elastic in... I’ve replaced the zip, but what is particularly special about this outfit is the outfit that my mother wore out the first time she went out after having me.

So it’s entirely my mother’s outfit, which also became one of my favourite things. My sister and I, when we were young, used to dress up in her wonderful clothes, but thinking that they were the daggiest things ever… We have photographic evidence of us just dressing up like dorks wearing you know some of the outfits that are now my favourites. Yeah so sentimentally I value it, and I also really value things that no one else has…"

Melbourne - March 2013
Photograph by Paul Allister