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.

Sulphuric denim

"This was my dad’s jeans jacket when he was a teenager and he was a chemistry student in the early seventies and he wore this in the lab and he got sulphuric acid all down the front so it’s got acid burns through it... He then didn’t go on to do anything with chemistry ever again but I kind of like the fact that this was my dad’s when he was, sort of, nineteen, twenty, in a lab and burning holes in it… Plus it’s just a shoddy jacket which I really, really like. The fabric's pretty horrible… the waistband’s been finished... it’s just been cut off and folded over. I like, I guess, honestly bad workmanship if you know what I mean. I’ve never been one for, like, washed products and rips and tears and destruction artificially so generally that means you get stuff that reflects how you wear things, what you do..."

London - March 2011
Photograph by Kerry Dean