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.


"I designed a kimono when I was quite young and I always really wanted to have one made up but could never really afford it... I just love kimonos – I think they’re really beautiful and really flowing and just lovely, lovely things to have. I had an opportunity to have one made up when I was travelling in Vietnam, I was staying downstairs from a tailors shop. Actually I had two made up, one for my best friend as well so sometimes when she comes over we’ll just mess around and put them on. Its kind of like a dressing gown but at the same time when I wear it it makes me feel quite elegant. I’m always a bit frightened to lounge around on the sofa when I’m wearing it but its not really something I can wear out either so its more of a, I don’t know, I couldn’t bear to throw it away, I think its something I’ll probably keep my whole life because I designed it and chose the fabrics and I watched it being made and also carried it on my back for about three months and sort of looking after it carefully – made sure it didn’t get wet or ruined."

Bollington, Cheshire - July 2009
Photograph by Fiona Bailey

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