World 62, Enactment i: recipe

Seen the World 62 Enactment i report and want to try it out for yourself?

Great! Follow this guide to have a go.

You’ll be enacting a fictional fashion world in which images portraying clothes cannot be distributed, via an activity in which garments are exchanged and creatively described in words.

The Enactment is designed for a group of five participants (who could exchange items by post or in person).

The fiction guiding your Enactment:

In World 62, the distribution of images portraying clothes is outlawed; fashion mail order is based solely on descriptive texts. Despite well-developed garment-related literacy, the arrival of a new purchase inevitably involves some collision of mental picture and material reality.

Many have grown to appreciate the anticipation inherent in this process and set up round-robin fashion groups to mirror and amplify the experience. A group member writes a garment request; another selects a secondhand item in response. It is then passed around the collective, with each person adding to a tantalisingly cryptic description before the recipient enjoys the eventual ‘reveal’.

What you need

  • Budget for garments (and postage, if not exchanging in person)
  • An alternative would be to ‘shop’ within your wardrobes instead
  • Google Docs set up, one for each request and description
  • Planner to show who purchases for who, who posts where and so on (use this template, designed for five participants)
  • Postal address for each person, if applicable
  • Write a request for a garment and pass it on to the person purchasing for you via a GoogleDoc.

    You might want to be very specific or much more open. Reflect on your wardrobe and think about what it needs.

    Your request might include details of colour, garment type, size, fibre, texture, weight, aesthetic, mood … or something else!

  • Select a secondhand item in response to another participant’s request, as specified by the planner.

    Start the description of the purchased garment in the relevant GoogleDoc and post the item to the next person in the circle. (Note that you will always post to the same person.)

  • Watch the first workshop video by poet Teo Eve to inspire your future contributions to the garment descriptions.

  • Open the package you receive and add to the description of the garment in the relevant GoogleDoc.

    Post the item to the next person in the circle.

  • Check out the second workshop video by poet Teo Eve for more garment description ideas.

  • Once again, open the package you receive; add to the item’s collaborative description in the relevant GoogleDoc; and post the item to the next person in the circle.

  • Explore the third and final workshop video by Teo Eve.

  • For the last time: open the package, add to the description and post the item to the next person in the circle.

  • When you have received the package containing your garment, prepare by re-reading your request and the collaborative garment description. Consider what you’re expecting the item to be like before you open it.

    Open your package and enjoy the ‘reveal’!

  • After you have completed your time in World 62, take some time to reflect using the questions provided below.

    Alternatively, you could use the Fashion Fictions wonder-capture activity.

Reflection questions

How do you feel about the item in relation to your original request, and in relation to the collaborative garment description? Is the item what you expected? Will it find a place in your wardrobe?

Reflect on your experience of the project: writing the request, shopping for someone else on the basis of their written request, contributing to the collaborative descriptions, and connecting with others through the ‘game’ of posting packages. What did you enjoy? What didn’t you enjoy? Were there any moments that stood out for you?

Did this activity generate any insights that you think could be useful in transforming our real-world fashion system? These insights could be concrete ideas for how we could do things differently, or more general thoughts about values and priorities. They might relate to the elimination of imagery from fashion media; delayed gratification; the experience of purchasing for others; or something else.

Tell us about your Enactment

Have you had a go at enacting World 62? We’d love to hear how it went! Send an email to Amy with your news.

This Enactment was devised by Amy Twigger Holroyd, building on an Exploration created by Wendy Ward and Jana Melkumova-Reynolds, which was in turn developed from a World contributed by Talia Hussain, 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.

Image credits: many thanks to Sanket Haribhau Nikam. Alison Peck, Ann Penn and Charlotte Tupper.

Related Enactment reports

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