Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The End of a Dress

Crikey... where did that week go? I seem to have gone from one Wednesday to another with just a flash in between. To be fair I have been away teaching at the weekend (my lovely C & G students at Missenden Abbey) but even so, the weeks seem to be flying by. But I'm not here to bemoan the passage of time but rather the passage of a dress...
 
 
Remember this? A dress constructed entirely from Sainsbury's plastic carrier bags. It was part of one of my degree modules looking at dress as a sculptural form. I was inspired by the fabulous creations of Junya Watanabe and found that plastic bags made a good cheap alternative to silk organza.

 
I spent many furtive trips to Sainsburys to collect enough bags and then hours and hours stitching them together to create the skirt. The bodice was knitted from strips of bags. I loved that dress!

 
It was beautifully modelled by my friend's daughter Sophie on the catwalk at the Cambridge University fashion show, where it was picked out for a prize... and then didn't win a prize!

 
It had a stint in a shop window, it came with me around the country where I gave talks about its origin (and some people even tried it on) and for much of the time it has resided on a dummy in my hallway... a feature of my Open Studio events.

 
But sadly, the dress has become a faded, crumpled version of its former self

 
And the plastic is gradually distintegrating... which is probably a good thing in the long term.

 
But very sad for me as I've had to say goodbye and bin it... time to move on!
I leave you with a scary image

23 comments:

  1. At least you have it we'll documented Gina. I suppose it is a good thing that (some) plastic bags do eventually break down, but it's always a strange moment when you have to part with a 'friend'.

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  3. That was my deleted comment, for some reason it duplicated itself.

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  4. Awe that is sad but it definitely had a good life!!
    V xxx

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  5. That's sad - but it does go to show that not all carrier bags are as bad for the environment as we assume! These ones certainly had an interesting life!!!

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  6. It's had a good run for it's money Gina, but I can understand your sadness at having to say goodbye. I have no doubt you will soon come up with other clever and innovative ideas to fill the gap.

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  7. Oh how sad! Such a clever and beautiful design.

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  8. Always hard to say goodbye to a special garment - at least you ( and we!) will have the photos.

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  9. How sad, but I just love the scary friend!
    Annya

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  10. Your dress was inspired and lives on in your blog and in the work it led you to since you made it. Probably lives on in the work of people who saw it too. Well done for parting with it.

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  11. Goodness, I remember the making of that dress, five years ago!

    We all have to move on and ditch things from our lives but I wonder what will replace the dress?

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  12. I've always admired that dress connected with your blog ... I'm glad you shared it's history. Quite an amazing dress!! It's too bad the plastic started to disintegrate ... best to give it a decent burial. Wendy x

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  13. Gina, That Dress is Iconic! What a fabulous creation, and use of materials that others might just discard.

    (It was fun to see photo of you modelling the dress...I think that post must have happened before I became a regular reader of your splendid, varied and always interesting posts.)

    Have you ever made more things from carrier bags. My only completed projects was crocheted ages ago, a large tote bag...perfect for carrying things to the beach. I gave it to a friend as a birthday gift. I loved the idea that it was waterproof in a way, yet porous enough to be able to have the beach sand easily rinsed out upon a return home.

    Now I am wondering why I've not made anything like that again. See how once again you've inspired me, Gina?

    xo

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  14. I often wondered about the significance of your profile pic, I wasn't aware of your blog at the time you made the dress, it looks amazing on the catwalk. Sad that you have to let it go, but as with everything we have to move on.
    Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a mansion and it could grow old gracefully in one of the fifty bedrooms, together with all the other treasures from our loves.

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  15. Sad to say goodbye to the dress, but at least you noticed that it was disintegrating and didn't open a cupboard and find a pile of orange confetti. A couple of years ago a Tesco bag disintegrated in a cupboard and it took me ages to realise what the little bits were that kept appearing, I thought we had mice!

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  16. What a fab creation it is. May we all be like your little frock - shine brightly and be loved for a life time and then fade away gracefully. x Jo

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  17. Time for a black armband. (Made from a bin bag - naturally)

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  18. mmm... must have been strange parting with something that so much energy and work went into Gina. Hope you were ready to move on :)

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  19. Oh that is sad, but it was beautiful while it lasted. You could collect some more to make another one !!

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  20. How sad to lose something you've put so much time and love into, but at least you have lots of nice memories about it.

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  21. Awww, so sad -- it was such a beautiful dress Gina! At least you'll have your pictures and memories. And it's good to know that those plastic bags really DO disintegrate in the landfills!

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  22. Nothing scary about that image. You have the legs girl so flaunt them I say. What a shame about the iconic dress but at least it proves that those bags do disintegrate one day! As a demon recycler with a dislike of those thin bags I for one find that element of your tale quite heartening although it is a bit of an end of an era. Time to make something iconic to take its place?

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  23. I saw one made of pink balloons at Pallant House yesterday. But equally perishable, I suppose.

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