8 January 2013

A Slow Start

A Closed Feeling
Number (N)ine
Autumn/Winter 2009

Past, Present, Future. We tend to think of time as a linear progression, and we have come to define ourselves by that progression, for locality has been superseded by temporality. As the world becomes ever more connected and we travel to find our own places within it, we are no longer defined by where we came from, rather we are defined by when we came from. People think of themselves as a child of the '80s, or of the '90s, and not necessarily as a London child or a Parisian child. Yes locality and the social culture present therein will shape our experiences, but time as a movement appears to be able to transcend that fact.

Ever-moving, we feel time in ways generations before could never even have dreamed. The constant flux means we ride across the wave, either laying down anchors where we will or need, or simply carrying certain constants with us on the journey. Memories and moments become all the more precious and beautiful because they are so fleeting - the world changes with or without us, and so how we relate to that comes to define us in a way that is more revealing than we would think. We can be rooted in the present, yearning for a past that never was; else we can be rooted in the past, dreaming of a future that will take us away from our present; the possibilites are numerous.

Fashion disrupts our definitions in terms of both locality and temporality. I wear now for example, in the dawn of 2013, a pair of trousers made almost two decades ago in Japan, long before I even knew what fashion was, and from a place I have never been. And yet this garment, from a time I can never visit again and a place that is no longer the same as it was at that time, has become very much part of my current day-to-day life. It has a meaning that is more personal than many other objects I own, because it experiences life with me - over time, over space. And because of that constantly shifting dynamic, its original point and place of conception is only ever as important as I wish it to be.

We may own a piece of furniture for a number of years - it accrues the memories we associate with it, but it is ultimately a constant and finished object. Yes we may change house or move the furniture, but it is usually always there in the same place, being used for the same things, gaining a patina over time as we use it. Now compare this to clothing, which experiences our lives first hand. We live our lives dressed, and these garments experience that life with us - in the relationship between body and dress, I act upon the clothing and the clothing acts upon me. Whereas furniture is something we use, and so over time it tells the story of its use, dress is more complicated, for I wear it and so it may crease, but because I wear it, I may feel cold or warm or restricted or free, etc. It is a dynamic that is all the potent in its associated memories.

Where fashion is concerned, time in and of itself becomes meaningless, for in the constant redefinition of the Present, the Past becomes a collection of memories, souvenirs and imaginings. Yet fashion does not require historic veracity, for it tends to build upon a collective memory of history, or at least a very personal form of that history dependent on the designer. That social experience is perhaps far more important than accurate representation, but that does not necessarily equate to clothing made in painful nostalgia for some past that never existed. Rather I think that fashion levels the past to allow us to both connect with, and continue, what went before. Continuation is in my eyes preferable because it places us not within some idea of defined start or finish realised in its resurrection, with fashion ever doomed to be outdated the moment it is created, but it places us at a point of our own choosing, and our own definition. 



  1. Sound like a pair of trousers are lucky to meet you.Sometimes oldness looks better than brand new. You can wear now which means you can wear forever.I like good condition old clothing.

    I like NUMBER (N)ine clothing .But clothing you posted are not for everybody.I feel those are for only young metro sexual type of men.I want to wear those clothing :p

  2. I love androgyny, but don't know if it's a look that's understood or respected by all. Kanye wore a skirt to a concert here and was crucified by the media - we've come so far regarding gender roles and stereotypes, and yet are still closeted in so many ways. I like the look of these - and they're constructed so beautifully!
    Lovely post and words, as per usual. Happy 2013, my dear!

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