Conversational skins : heirloom 'pelts' that emerge and evolve : an exegesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Design at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Open Access Location
Fabric garments augment and transform the body as a second skin. This project is a poetic, heuristic inquiry that investigates taking this ‘second skin’ through multiple forms, transitioning between flat fabric, garment form, flat fabric, garment form etc. In this cyclical long-term relationship, the surface of the textile-skin is inscribed and augmented as cuts are made, and ‘healed’ through various textile processes. The scars write a story on the surface. There is a ceremonial sensation to removing and the ‘flattening’ the skin, which evokes the collection of a pelt. Using a phenomenological methodology the ‘flat’ and ‘form’ iterations are performed and photographed, growing a catalogue of the fabric’s evolution. Returning a garment to ‘flat’ offers erasure of form; it can become a level plane for a new construction. This action is achieved by utilising the method of ‘zero waste’ design, in which no fabric is removed in the construction of a garment. This enables the form to be unpicked, reassembled and sewn back to a flat-fabric state. The flat/ form/flat/form cycle is played out as a conversation with the cloth, responding to the flow and tendencies of each textile. The central proposition is that the flat-form-flat cycle provides a channel to engage in the transformative performance of dress, while enacting a use practice that diverges from problematic consumption models. In doing this, a unique surface pattern is inscribed on the cloth. The process asks: ‘what might be allowed to develop?’ The outcome demonstrates a collection of nine textile ‘pelts’ with documented progression; liminal pieces that are detailed artefacts in themselves, yet invite further interaction. Key Words: Textile Design, Speculative, Zero-waste, Shapeshift, Fashion, Skin, Transformation, Performance.
Textile design, Speculative, Zero-waste, Shapeshift, Skin, Transformation, Performance, Fashion design