World 91, Enactment i: comic

Comic panel depicting cartoon characters in a landscape featuring mushrooms.

What if another species guided our dress decisions?

How would the experience of fashion change?

The World 91 enactment explored a culture in which people make a weekly visits to the woods to present themselves to their spiritual guides, the mushrooms.

After following the activities of a number of participants, Atlas of the Future commissioned artist Pau Del Toro and writer Geoffrey Cowper Sallari to turn this World into a comic for Fashion Fictions.

We present: The Penny Buns!

A comic showing a girl, Penny, having a picnic with her parents. She discards the magazine she’s been reading, complaining that ‘Fashion is so unreal’ and sets off on a walk. She follows a strange creature who asks ‘Can you feel the mushrooms speaking to you?’ and invites her to come and meet them, lending her a red hat with white spots, shaped like a toadstool. Penny follows the creature through a hole in a tree.
Penny emerges into a strange and magical land where mushrooms of all shapes, sizes and colours grow. A group of strange creatures tell her ‘Come, present yourself to the mushrooms’, and a large mushroom invites her to  ‘Join the dance!’. She talks to the creatures asking ‘So you folk dress … for fungi?’. They reply ‘Indeed! They guide all our choices!’. Returning to the real world, Penny surprises her parents by declaring that she loves fashion. Back home, she goes to her bedroom and starts knitting an outfit in the colours of the talking mushroom, to wear the following week.

Comic by Pau Del Toro and Geoffrey Cowper Sallari for Fashion Fictions and Atlas of the Future. Many thanks to the Enactment participants whose experiences informed the comic.

This Enactment was devised by Amy Twigger Holroyd, building on an Exploration created by Elly Platt, Talia Hussain and Martin Benes, which was in turn developed from a World contributed by Suzanne Rowland, using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence which allows others to share and adapt the work in any medium and for any purpose, providing that they credit the authors and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.

Does this World remind you of something?

I am keen to hear about any historical or contemporary real-world examples – whether individual practices, subcultures or mainstream activities – that this fiction brings to mind.

Please share any such examples using this form. Thank you!

Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions