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


The link between a person and a garment can never be planned for, but has lasting impact when a garment becomes a life-long companion. It reveals the potential for change in each individual and often marks that in the associations with a piece, for single, small actions can have big effects.

Self-determined life

"My cat t-shirt is a symbol of how important and worthwhile it is to stand up for a self-determined life. This t-shirt is 25 years old. I was twelve years old in the summer when I got it. Up until that time, my foster mother had always chosen my clothes and she had a completely different taste to mine and I was often ashamed of the clothing I had to wear and got changed secretly in the school toilets. But that summer, when I was twelve years old, I went on holiday with my foster parents and [while] shopping with my foster mother fell in love with this t-shirt and I convinced my foster mother to buy it for me. That all happened without a quarrel or an argument. I believe this was because one of the few things my mother and I have in common is a love of cats… So this t-shirt was a victory, and it was worthwhile, because I was directly rewarded for risking a conflict with her for once. Usually I really avoided it. And also because whenever I wore this t-shirt, other people smiled at me more than usual… I don’t wear it very often any more, but every time I pick it up, when I’m looking for something in my wardrobe, it moves me."

Berlin - July 2010
Photograph by Stefan Rother