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.

Past ownership is ok

“This long top is a recent love affair… it’s a jersey thing and I got it at a recent [clothes] swap two or three months ago and I wear it like three times a week because it’s warm and it’s loose and it’s comfortable and its nice… people like it… I love the long sleeves. I wear arm warmers a lot and I like things that are kind of droopy.

It was really funny when I picked it up and I was like, “oh what is this thing?” and it’s got some snags and signs of wear from past owners. But I’m alright with that. It’s a bit like with a new relationship… it’s had a life before I came along and I can add to it, hopefully not scars or tears, but to the next part of its life.”

Dublin - April 2012
Photograph by Des Moriarty