People are complicated and diverse. We are all many things. Our clothes need to reflect this fluidity, aesthetically and practically.
Practicality and comfort is not a gendered concept, but it has been in clothing.
Clothes are your armour, your freedom and your identity. The basis of a woman’s wardrobe is still built on patriarchal standards and is sexist visually and practically. As women, we wear more layers. Most of us find it uncomfortable to not wear a bra but only because we’re so used to wearing them that it feels strange without it. To see the natural shape of a breast through clothing is a foreign aesthetic. Should we maintain this standard?
We literally live in clothing.
The ease of knitwear comes from its basis in stretch. The elasticity of knitted pieces often allows them to be relatively size-less. A concept whilst in a woven fabric tends to be factories dream but a consumer’s nightmare. The inclusivity of knit in its ability to move with us as we age, when we eat and when we menstruate is a concept that is just waiting to be further exploited.
By sizing clothing, we are not allowing for this change in the consumers own body or being inclusive of the millions of different ways the human body can take form. Helping to further drive consumerism and reinforce unobtainable beauty standards.
By addressing comfort psychologically and psychically my clothing is a practical solution to how we dress. It’s not a new way of dress, just a new way of approaching how we dress – in harmony with the woman’s body, working with the shape of your day and your life. I hope to honour the reality of being a woman.
Whether it is buckling your top to feel supported or undoing it to feel more relaxed. Zipping your coat from your more dominant side simply because it’s easier. Having elastic between your shoulder seams so you can drive your car and jump out and pick up your child without taking off your coat. Building in Spanx to give a woman the confidence in herself – by nipping or tucking whatever it is she doesn’t like in the mirror, something a man’s’ suit has done for centuries.
This collection, produced for my masters at the Royal College of Art addresses the problems I find in wearing modern clothing whilst also attempting to address the gender divide that is how we dress.