Separating Ourselves: The transformative power of clothes

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Separating Ourselves: The transformative power of clothes by Crystal Moselle is the other film from the series The Way We Dress that resonate with my own thoughts of how we use clothing to construct identity in a way that serves us and considers how others view us. The film hears from 4 different women, how they use clothing to alter their experience of comfort, style and persona. This concept demonstrates what a Personal Uniform for Daily Wear can be used for, which is an embodiment of self-expression and as an external communicator to the people around us.

I realize there is stigma around the word “uniform”. It’s one of the reasons I chose it, because people have beliefs around it and what it symbolizes. The word becomes a catalyst for dialogue. When I first started this project, I was talking to my aunt and uncle about it and a fairly big debate started, each one taking a side for and against the concept of a uniform. It’s untethering the strong-hold on what the uniform and teasing out what the tenets of its use are and how that can potentially inform future use of clothing. At a time when a shift in the fashion and garment industry are critical towards more sustainable practices, how can we individually empower ourselves in our decision making and active engagement with our personal wardrobes?

To me, the concept of a Personal Uniform for Daily Wear is not to dilute the individual self into a social mass of look-a-likes. But rather, to empower the autonomous self to make decisions around ownership of personal identity, conscious use and considerations of the impacts of ones actions has on the environment. This constructed wardrobe promotes tuning out the anonymizing affects of mass-culture and tuning in to the self [1]. It has benefits of efficiency of getting dressed in the morning and saving time. It engages in a state of ‘being’ rather than ‘having’ [2].

If you have any thoughts on this, please leave me comments below.
Watch the film here.

N

References:
[1] Tillen, R.S. (2015). Safe Labels. Retrieved from http://www.natalietillen.com/soft-products/#/safe-labels/
[2] Walker, S. (2010). Sermons In Stones. Argument and Artefact for Sustainability. Les Ateliers de l’ethique: The Ethics Forum. V.5 N.2. Retrieved from http://www.lecre.umontreal.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/pdf_10_Walker.pdf

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