Clothes plays a big part in defining me, as fashion is something I am perpetually interested in.
Having decided on the subject matter of apparel, I flipped through my collection of fashion magazines for inspiration and was particularly taken by the shoot “Undone” in The Gentlewoman Issue No. 13. Instead of the regular modelling of clothes on a human model, the assemblages were laid down on the ground. How the form of fabric changed when it was sprawled on the flat surface intrigued me as it looked almost dead without a wearer.
So I decided to explore how a piece of clothing would look without a wearer, and experiment with the shape and folds and how they interacted with light. How to capture the paradox of how apparel is non-living (without a wearer) but can give life (identity) to a body.
I was pleased with the series of photographs produced, especially the last image as it captures the apparel in its natural form. The deep red of the sweater was contrasted with the warm white background, bringing attention to the folds and creases created with the interaction with the flat surface.
I tried working with sweaters of thicker fabric, realising some of them can retain a shape on its own without a body.The jumper is able to “stand” on its own, creating the body (as if it is worn)
My experimentation and close-up of the apparels brought me to the works of Wolfgang Tillman‘s photography of clothes hung up or strewn across a surface. Though portraying a simple subject matter of clothes, the clothes contain human traces, the act of wearing and using.
After working with just the apparel itself, I started thinking about how I can interact with a piece of clothing, in the case of this project, a sweater. Should I wear it? Stretch it? Throw it? I then came across a fashion editorial of the brand ADER ERROR by Kersti K., with fascinating compositions of clothes levitating in the air, the moment just before it falls. I found this interesting as it encompassed my feelings towards fashion, that it is exciting and dynamic. It also approach the paradox of non-living and living in a fun and vibrant manner.
While I may have been keen to continue my experimentations of clothes on flat surfaces, I decided to focus on the dynamism of clothes in the air as well as interacting with it myself (by wearing and stretching).
Experiment – Capturing the trajectory of a thrown sweater
I decided the throw the sweater across the camera on self-timer, to capture how fabric interact with the air. It captures the form of the sweater before the it is pulled down. I finalised on one where captures the “life” of the sweater for the close-up of the object.
My final works differ much from my initial test-runs where I focused on the “dead” and “still” quality of fabric as I venture into exploring movement and dynamism, which better represents my feelings towards fashion.
Different poses with the varying form of fabric
by Alina Ling