An important aspect of identity is our relation to 'the other'. It is to be seen in the creative capabilities of personal styling versus the do's and don'ts of internal dress codes when it comes to group membership. 'The other' is not only important in creating a sense of belonging and group membership, but commonality is also defined through difference with 'the other'. What I am trying to say is, people give meaning to products (hot-or-not) in a social and networked context. But what happens to the dressed body in times of social distancing? Without much physical contact to 'the other'? What are we wearing when we have (almost) no one else to dress for?
As I was thinking about this, I noticed that I no longer wear my heels since I am in social 'house arrest'. It's very useless at home and not very comfortable when you go for an extensive walk. (I do however wear them to the supermarket :-) ) Something else I rarely do is wearing the same piece of clothing two days in a row. But, suddenly I caught myself doing exactly that! Therefore, I decided that I had to train my imagination a bit. To challenge my creativity and my internalised programme for getting dressed in the morning.
And so I took the words of Binna Choi and Annette Krauss in 'unlearning exercises
' as a personal challenge: "unlearning is less about acquiring new skills and knowledge and more about taking on an active critical investigation of normative structures and practices in order to become aware and get rid of taken-for-granted "truths" of daily life practice". For six days I will critically investigate my wardrobe and wear pieces I haven't worn for way too long, preferably designed by special people, in order to create room for creativity and social empowerment!
Can I challenge you to do the same?
I wear pieces by Nkwo
, Carla Fernández
, Shannon Weekers
, First of August
, United Nude
and Disarming Design