World 62, Enactment i: report

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This Enactment was based on

and is documented in the

Over a period of three months in summer 2022, a group of fifteen geographically dispersed participants took part in a structured activity to explore World 62, in which images portraying clothes cannot be distributed.

The fiction guiding this 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’.

Inspired by this fiction, we set up three ‘round-robin fashion groups’. Each participant requested a garment, purchased a garment in response to another person’s request (maximum £10), contributed to several written descriptions, and then finally, after many weeks, received the physical item that had been purchased in response to their request.

There were five people in each group, or ‘Circle’. Each item passed round all the other members of the circle, with each person adding to the collaborative garment description, before eventually reaching its intended recipient. The items were passed on every two weeks.

We commissioned experimental poet Teo Eve to create three video tutorials (video 1 | video 2 | video 3) showcasing experimental strategies for using language to describe garments, to support the participants in creating their ‘cryptic’ garment descriptions.

The activity was a bit of a logistical challenge! We used GoogleDocs as spaces to write the garment requests and related garment descriptions; a Padlet as a noticeboard to document key information; and a WhatsApp group to keep in touch.

Together, we managed to complete the process and generated a great collection of garment descriptions – along with some valuable reflections (and a few successful wardrobe additions!).

Want to try this out for yourself?

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.

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

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