Memory of the second skin
“The body connects to our first skin. The second skin is the clothes. Sometimes clothes explain the owner, and there are a lot of memories inside a dress. I never use a new dress. For me, with a new dress, I cannot start any-thing, and I am not interested in using a new dress because there are no memories or stores inside it”
I have read this quotes from a research paper on artist Chiharu Shiota.
Although without knowing further context or the background aspect of this quotation, I want to discuss only these four sentences here in front of us by my point of view, as an artist who expresses herself in clothes making.
The first two sentences strike me, as I have searched years of vocabulary for defining fashion, defining clothes making, defining the behavior of people pursuing trends; yet I forgot, fundamentally, my principle of making clothes 'wearable and comfortable art' is exactly the practice of believing clothes are just like our own skin; and to me, if a piece of clothes (here, not just one, but tons of patterns constructed garment) is not well sat on human corps, or not coordinate well with human movements, I will want to break free from it no matter how beautiful it was looking - and suddenly, this 'unfit' skin will be forgotten without any life form.
Perhaps us wanting to express better, and this is why we put on clothes which explains us.
So perhaps at the end, there is no pretentious way of wearing, only misunderstanding; there is no class-ism, only consciousness choice?
The clothes do explain our head, our memory, our act and expression, and by selecting what's the piece we want to own or collect, is exactly the same process of choosing a literature to read, a poem to gasp, a play to respire.
So now the question is back to: is there really no memory on a piece of new dress as Shiota has felt? It is highly possible from the blooming industrialization and capitalism growth era we live in; but I differ to let this system to define clothes.
I am also in a semi route of small production, but I do think it's by choice and value where I can inject memory of me and all the seamstresses to the new pieces being purchased or given to an owner. Not to mention the made-to-order piece, where the old savoir-faire and new trend of slow fashion is about - new clothes do still own a story and memory, and it is so precious when you collect them as your own second skin to express.
with love, x