The clothes we wear and the items we carry represent us so fully, they can speak of who we are even in our absence. As such they become talismans of our presence, helping to calibrate our selves with our environment.
As well as a harbour for stories and memories; dress has a protective force, guarding us as we present ourselves to the world each day. There is comfort in this, the act of dressing each day connects us with the social world.
Spending time with Nigel Cabourn is a little like being carried along by a minor tornado. He talks a mile a minute, makes friends with just about everybody, and is, by his own admission, ‘like the fucking Pied Piper’.
The items we possess and clothes we wear have unspoken power in our lives; in function, but as anchors to our stories, memories and identities.
When I first met Jean Touitou he was giving a presentation in the A.P.C. showroom about the latest collection to a room full of press and buyers. He was cracking jokes and treating his audience as if they were just a bunch of old friends.
Irene is one of the fashion industry’s many éminence grises. In the late 1980s she became the fashion editor of Vogue Paris where she pioneered the work of photographers like Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber and Paolo Roversi, at the time all young and looking for a break.
In many ways Susan Cianciolo’s work evades a formal category. For the most part she is a designer, but also maker, artist, director, among other roles that allow her to create her exhibitions and performances.
Most people know the Big Suit, but there were a lot of others. On one tour I wore a body suit that was painted to look like musculature. You could literally disappear in it — it covered my head and face and only my eyes and mouth were visible. You felt completely transformed in a costume like that, which is lot of fun… and it looks a little frightening.
Performance is something integral to fashion, in industry, and our everyday experience: from catwalk presentations, photo shoots and red carpet events to the dressing up we engage with in our daily lives, all are very much acts of performance in an industry that is necessarily expressive. Artist Adele Varcoe’s work is concerned with these functions – a keen observer of the phenomenon of fashion and our responsive behaviour, her performance events and happenings aim to address fashion and our experience of clothing.
Continuing from Vestoj’s fourth issue, ‘On Fashion and Power’, Dr Anna Akbari’s series speaks with individuals who each hold positions of relative power within their industry. Akbari reveals how our choice of clothing reflects and shapes our vocation, speaking more broadly about how we wear power and the often under-recognised significance of this relationship.
Dr Anna Akbari’s series of conversations with individuals who each hold positions of relative power within their particular industry reveals the way we wear power within a workplace and position. What makes us look and feel powerful is an experience that is entirely specific and personal to an individual and their vocation, constructed in the subtle details and signifiers of dress – such as a retro iPhone, or vintage-style Warby Parker frames – that help to maintain propriety and confidence within the relevant industry.
What does power look like? Who embodies it and how? These are a few of the questions posed in a series of interviews with individuals who each hold positions of relative power within their particular industry.