I buy used shirts to embellish and re-figure. I call them re-dos. There is a satisfaction in the recycling-reuse nature of this work. (Plus, I don’t have to make a shirt from scratch). I sent my friend Annie a couple of pictures from the black and white series I am working on and she replied by sending me the name of the master/designer extraordinaire:
Miguel Adrover, a Spaniard, taker apart-er, layer-er, of all manner of clothing.
He divides the used garments, and pairs them with similar or random tops, coats, or dresses. He takes mountains of the thick folded clothes piled one upon the other to create a structure to wear. It is hard to describe the nature of these clothes. They arrest the eye, are mysterious, and provoking.
He is an environmentalist, whose commitment defines the character of his work. He is an inspiration, not just because of this stance, but the free and passionate way he compiles and creates. Truly a designer for our time.
Between my cutting table and my sewing machine (the space of about 2 feet), threads and small snippets fall. Swept up in the gyre, they form random compositions ready to be pasted between Solvy sheets.
The task is to figure out how to preserve the spontaneity of that moment in thread time, anchoring without undoing the life of that arrangement, a delicate endeavor.
Usually I stitch over the entire piece to secure everything. But here I stitched following the threads movements so as not to deviate from the lines. I was mostly happy with the results, though there was still remained a denseness.
At my Ampersand critique group I was explaining this dilemma when an idea came to me: to float the threads. By stitching the layer of threads first and then using an element to create airspace between the denser background and laciness of the treads, I could preserve the lightness. I will keep doing these pieces – as I am always producing waste in the form of treasures!
Doing a special order for a larger-than-me client, I decided to research actual size charts. To find one I could use to standardize my own sizing. The first site I looked at seemed to be a standard from the 50s: size 8–bust 34 ½ , waist-26 ½ , hips- 37, versus the more modern chart: size 8 to 10 — bust- 35-36, waist- 27-29 and hips- 38-39.
All this might seem very technical, but when you go to a store the variety of fit is extreme. From J Jill to J Crew, there is a big difference in sizes and it can make a person crazy. No wonder we have issues with our perception of our size. The powers that be are playing with us and realizing that buying power rests on the ideas that “I can still fit into a size 8”! Have we grown that much as a society?
Or do we like to fool ourselves into a false sense of being slim? Like I do every morning when I get on the scale after having done my morning duties, bare naked and am feeling slender! (Not)! So different from the doctors office…
Anyway, I guess by this time we have come to understand the difference between designers and which ones work for us. But the idea of the contrast was really reinforced from checking out the size charts…