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.

Kazakh waistcoat

"I used to be the director of the Family Planning Association in the UK and when I left there I did a lot of consultancy work in health education and sexual health in Central Asia, mainly in Kazakhstan. And I worked with doctors and teachers, developing programmes for young people in health education and sexual health and HIV/AIDs across Kazakhstan. After I’d been doing that for about 6 or 7 years I was invited to become a member of the House of Lords. And they were all delighted about this and very excited and they presented me with the garment I have here which is a garment with Kazakh parliamentarians wear in ceremonial occasions in their parliament and it’s hand-embroidered, with beads and gold thread work and it’s a rather large one as it was obviously designed for a rather large Kazakh man but I still think it’s wonderful and I was so touched they gave it to me."

London - March 2011
Photograph by Kerry Dean