Even though mainstream fashion is fast and ”dictates” new looks several times a year especially the fashion brands that produce pre-fall and pre-spring outfits on top of their spring-summer and fall-winter collections - consumers don’t change their wardrobes every season. They hold on to certain items that they get attached to - items that they, in some way, establish an emotional bond to or items that, due to their look, hold an aesthetic that compliments their identity. If you get emotionally attached to a garment, which for example could imply the look of the garment becoming an important part of your identity, or the sensation of it reminding you of someone important or of a significant event in your life, or perhaps the item starting to feel like a “second skin”, maintaining it and mending becomes necessary and important. The mending process can, in fact, add emotional and aesthetic value to the garment, or make it more interesting or perhaps even more beautiful. Not in a flashy, shiny-new kind of way, but in a sensual and tactile way. Patches and stitches and rough parts and faded colours hold a beauty that cannot be machine-produced; a beauty characterized by the storytelling of use and by a stimulating tactile experience. Slowing down fashion involves creating garments that can in fact be repaired or upgraded, and that age with beauty. Aging with beauty, when dealing with pieces of clothing, includes using natural quality materials that become softer, more comfortable, and more tactically stimulating when used, as well as working with good fitting, and thereby with the option of adjusting the garment and of individualising or upgrading the garment by including changeable elements. Imitating use in new garments is another way of featuring the beautiful traces that use and decay can leave behind. Pre-emptively beating the decaying process can make the consumer feel more instantly connected to a garment, as it has been artificially “worn out”, which normally happens to favourite shirts and trousers and dresses; i.e. to loved objects. Implementing the possibility of mending or upgrading a piece of clothing or deliberately making a new garment look worn and weathered are ways of celebrating use and the love between a consumer and a product – and the beauty of decay.
Design by Pernille Krüger Photographer Alesya Gulevich