Two months have elapsed since we did this exhibition now, but I thought it’d be good to write a little something about this exhibition anyway. MA work is pretty much what my year has been (and will be) focusing on, as I’ve been wading through the murky clouds that have cluttered my view for sometime. However, before I start delving into that, let’s rewind to June: Us MA Fashion Futures lot put on a work-in-progress show at Machines Room in Hackney. Because you know, it’s easier to explain the hard-to-explain in exhibition format, with a few glasses of free wine thrown into the mix.
It’s a little know fact that the Au Lazuli project stemmed partially from a dream. A dream filled with awe, the likes of which I’ve only fleetingly experienced before. This night, was much like any October night in late 2012. A little chilly, and terribly lethargic after a day spent at university, fretting (a lot) over what to make.
I went to bed earlier, around 10pm. Snuggled deep into my quilts and cocooned myself into the enveloping warmth. Sleep came quickly; atypical for me compared to most nights, where it can sometimes be a struggle to fall into a slumber. Yet this night, sleep came easily and before long, a dream state arose. I’ve no doubt that I dreamt a good many dreams that night, yet most evade me except this:
Citations is an ongoing series where I attempt to unravel the multitude of influences that pave the way to now. In these posts, I trace the people, things and experiences which shaped my thinking, and form the underpinnings of a creative outlook. You can view more of the series here.
Worn Fashion Journal
Worn, worn, worn... how many words can I entangle today to express how much adoration I hold for you? Or perhaps that should be held, since the final issue landed with a thud through my post box in January. What struck me then, was that this was an opportune moment to reflect on the publication. Delve into those bits of the Worn ethos that I've subconsciously nicked from every issue I've read, and resonate still today.
Worn Journal has a core, maybe cult, following and doubtless, some reading here may count yourselves amongst them. I came to Worn in 2009; when, through the joys of Twitter, I was sent a review copy for the tiny blog I kept at the time. The only remnant of that review is the photograph at the top, but suffice to say reading that issue was enough to hook me into Worn's World. Back issues and subscriptions were bought, and copies remain amongst the treasured possessions on my bookshelf. Maybe you'll have similar stories.
Over-thinking. It’s what I do apparently. Especially when it comes to creative ideas over the last year. They just twist and turn, contorting within the small space between my skull, yet never truly resolving because the doing is essential for that.
One such idea, is a piece deriving from the fashion as a social phenomena theory that circulates. I’ve been a little dubious as to what extent dress can reflect society, and in thinking about past influences, I began to remember the story of Echo & Narcissus. Which made me think of mirrors, as the perfect embodiment of both characters in the tale – vanity and reflection. The question whistling from the corner of my lips was:
In the old livejournal days, when times were simpler and the internet was a small excited child, one of my friends made an animated gif of a tree with our in-joke, “I lobe trees” on it. I was 13 then, and displayed it for longer than is probably wise to admit to now. But, we can say this was the beginning of my now blossoming interest in sustainability – and obviously, a fondness for trees.
Like any good soul who wants to infiltrate a field does, research is the start. When researching Thalia Warren, I found knitwear label Chinti + Parker. As a sucker for a well-made website and design that does not rely on its ethical tag for a USP, I made mental notes to check back when I had more time. And check back I did, to find a collaboration with famed design studio, Patternity.
Life, with all its funny twists and turns, often leaves me confused. Perhaps it’s due to my constant thinking or perhaps it’s just that the world can be shambolic, and negotiating your way through it isn’t always a barrel of laughs. Nevertheless, we continue forth because Pandora’s box let hope escape too, so we can believe that things have a strange way of working out for the best.
“…when life looks jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten, and that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing”
Truer words never spoken.
Sometimes, the smiles come from the little things. The quirky details in an outfit. The glow-in-the-dark face on your watch. The unexpected card from a friend at a difficult time. The funny little late night conversations. The spontaneous dances. Sharing music, books, knowledge, thoughts and ideas with other souls. Making things. And really, just being a little bit more bloody grateful for everything you can surround yourself with.
The only other thing is time. Time to figure out who you are and what you believe, and the things you hope for. Words are the easy bit really, but the time it takes to understand the pieces of your puzzle? That is invaluable.
Some time ago, in the frantic rush that was probably just graduate panic, I found myself stumbling through the blog on Kate Fletcher's website. An internet adventure that led me to discovering the Fashion & the Environment course – now reconfigured into the Fashion Futures course that I'll be undertaking soon enough. I mention this as a precursor to the post today, because I've recently been revisiting past work as a result of a prompt set a few months ago.
I'm a thinker, usually. I like ideas. Clever ones especially, that get me to question things I thought to be right and true. And one such idea, was presented in the collection of Thalia Warren, graduate of the 2013 MA Fashion & the Environment group.