Our relationship with dress and fashion – as individuals and as a cultural collective – is guided by the necessary rules and edicts that reinforce what we should, or more importantly, should not, wear. These form like the repeated lines of opposing graphics in a print or pattern that carefully divide one visual element from another, separating positive and negative values in space.
Dressing the body is an act of covering nakedness – the fashioned figure’s opposition. In this sense, nakedness is a blank canvas, with no signifiers of social and cultural context, and from which the process of concealing (and sometimes revealing) occurs.
From the exclusive realms of haute couture, to traditional systems of dress, there are processes that – although they sit as cultural polar opposites – share common themes. Cutting is a technique that creates form on the body; be it of the skin or fabric.
How we understand fashion is a collection of infinite possibilities, projected images and representations. At once enigmatic, desirable, glamorous, festive, authoritarian; dress is a multi-dimensional concept that might be described and observed a countless number of ways, from anthropological costume to the revered fashion image.