World 27, Exploration A

Hand-stitched label in a pair of jeans.

In World 27, ‘storyfull’ clothes are highly valued. Clothes need a life, and multiple owners are revered. Clothes are inhabited rather than owned; there are no museums or private collections, as preservation of clothing is frowned upon. 

There are no clothes shops, either, as the main form of acquisition is exchange. The rituals of clothes swapping are deeply embedded in the world’s culture. The Great Exchange event, which takes place twice a year, is a busy, bustling funfair of swapping, trading, storytelling festivals, intimate mending circles and performances. 

At the Great Exchange, garment-related stories are captured and archived with the help of ‘Stitchers of Stories’: variously skilled alterers/menders and diviners/tellers of garment histories. Garment ‘deeds’ hold the stories for future wearers and future generations.

These jeans are a classic example of the layers and narratives captured within an item of World 27 clothing. The jeans came complete with their deeds: in this case, a hand-stitched QR code attached as a label. The QR code links to an audio file with three first-hand stories.  

This Exploration was contributed by Sally Cooke, Charlotte Tupper and a Fashion Fictions contributor (located in the UK), developed from a World contributed by Jeannine Diego, 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.

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Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions