My work was featured in two out of the six sections of this large experimental exhibition: ‘Reappearances’, which looked at the way that past fashions haunt the present, and ‘A New Distress’, which looked at the image of past ruination in the present.
The focus on time and memory in my work distinguishes it from the ‘fast fashion’ aesthetic of commercial fashion. The themes of memory, loss, ruination and haunting are usually inimical to fashion but they are at the heart of my own practice and were in the vanguard of late 1990s’ developments in experimental fashion. Caroline Evans’s book 'Fashion at the Edge' (Yale 2003), which inspired the exhibition, discusses these themes in relation to my work.
My sketchbooks influenced the curator Judith Clark in conceptualising one section of the exhibition, ‘A New Distress’, which dealt with ‘distressed’ fashion that I developed in several collections. Clark used my sketchbooks and other research I did at the 'Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood' to develop her ideas over a year-long period.
The exhibition featured my designs using scorched elastoplast fabric, shrunken felted wool and burnt sequins. They emphasise process and materials-led innovation in fashion design. As experimental catwalk pieces, they function as one-off prototypes enabling me to grow ideas that can push the discipline forward.