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As I am concerned with contributing to the wholeness of the consumer/viewer, I began designing the pieces from a standpoint of zero waste, using the whole of something with as little waste as possible to create the objects. For example, the Japanese use an entire width and length of a piece of fabric with minimal waste to create the Kimono. It is made of a series of rectangular pieces that are sewn together to fit the body - any excess is sewn into the seams, to allow for enlarging. This concept also relates to the theory that we never truly forget anything, but plays on this idea as not all of the fabric is visible at all times, the original plain fabric is printed on and small parts of the printed fabric are cut away (although these are always replaced with new fabric - to maintain the integrity of the garment/memory/identity). The kimono concept formed the basis for all the pieces I designed. The starting point for each of the drapes is a double layer of identical fabric, which is then cut out in the shape of the family farm. This was done to maintain the link to my past and to reinforce the significance the land has to New Zealand’s past and my father’s life. The dimensions are related to The Modular, a system of measurement and proportion based on the body, designed by French architect, Le Corbusier. I used this system to provide a close relationship between my body, as the carrier of my identity, and the land from which I was raised. The width of each piece is based on the height of my arm raised - in exaltation to the memory of my father, this refers to the way I had placed my father on a pedestal and never knew of any faults as I was just a small child when he died. This measurement was then divided by Le Corbusier’s Golden Section of 1:1.618, to get the height of each piece. This resulted in a doubled layer of fabric that measures approximately 205cm wide by 125cm tall. The outline of an iconic Kiwi blokes ‘Black Singlet’ is then traced onto the fabric and cut out, keeping it attached to the fabric. The use of the singlet silhouette is to connect Kiwi Bloke mythology with each of the garments as my father’s life and New Zealand’s history is inextricably entangled with this notion of Kiwi Bloke-ness. This was then draped upon a women size twelve mannequin - my size - as the pieces are designed for me to wear (wearing my past on my sleeve) as a representation of my past and identity. The drape process is such that the original piece of fabric is not cut up into separate pieces, but remains connected at points to ensure its integrity. This reflects the way in which our memories and everything we experience, in some way effects our lives, nothing is truly forgotten or discarded. It reflects the fragmented nature of memories, the difficulty in accurately and wholly remembering a person or event, yet memories inherent integrity as the building blocks of life story. The drape for each piece is related to dress styles from that decade - to contextualise each piece within a time-frame. They are also related to either the wider social context, or the story, or my dad’s personal situation at the time. The double layer of fabric is intended to communicate dual aspects of culture and memory, such as past and present, truth and myth, public and private, but in a format that does not place these duos in opposition. The nature of the relationship between them is like the relationship of a lining to the outer garment, each affects the other, they do not exist separate from each other however they are individual components with different purposes. On parts of the garments, the double layer is maintained and in others only a single layer is used. On some parts the ‘lining’ is attached to the outer, and in others it is not and on most of the drapes the lining at times becomes the shell, and the shell the lining. This reflects concepts such as the past directly affecting the lived present, or the crossing over of myth into reality or of private lives affecting the public facade. The three dimensional aspect of the drapes, mean that an element of concealing and revealing is possible, where parts of embellishments can be strategically hidden within the folds of the garment. That clothing is worn on the body in such an intimate

First Son: Memory and Myth, an adjustment of faith  

First Son is an exploration of cultural change in New Zealand from the 1940s till the 1980susing textiles as medium for communication. It ai...

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