Shift is a dress that challenges fast fashion. It was conceived of as a contribution to To Make Clothes That Matter, a broader design research project lead by Pia Mouwitz, Senior Lecturer at the Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås. The research investigated the personal values given to clothing – why are some garments quickly discarded while others are cherished wardrobe staples for years? Results from the research were presented in an online exhibition, in an exhibition during Stockholm Fashion Week, and at the Textile Museum of Borås (June, 2015).
Shift began with an analysis and reflection of my personal relationship to my clothing. Altering, updating, or upcycling my garments is something that gives me great pride and emotional attachment, and Shift reflects an attempt to empower others with this relationship. In the interest of fighting fast fashion and over-consumption, the dress was designed to be re-formed by its owner, extending its life while also satisfying our need for change in our wardrobe.
The dress was digitally printed with a colour-coded map for its owner to follow to alter the garment into different styles. It can be sewn, cut, re-shaped and dyed. The owner chooses a dress style and then creates it by sewing or cutting along the lines on the garment. Some of the designs are reversible – they can be sewn and then unstitched back into their original shape. While others are irreversible – the cutting and dying creates permanent changes. The dress can change with its owner. It might not last forever, but could last longer in a person’s wardrobe with the kind of added value that time, effort and love can create.
The Digital Print
The dress can be transformed into any of the following styles through the colour-coded instructions printed on the dress
(Inspiration and experimentation)