September 19, 2021

Do Clothes Maketh the Human?

Flora Mcfarlane

TextilesOrlando, 2021

Our clothes convey something of our identity. Whether casually thrown on, or artfully chosen, our attire can either intentionally or unintentionally tell a story. Judgements can be based on how we present ourselves, and our interactions shaped accordingly. Equally, by consciously choosing to dress a certain way it is possible to define or re-define our identity, behavior and actions.  ‘Orlando’ by Virginia Woolf, inspired me to explore this question further. Orlando choses to define himself and his bodily transformation through clothing and behavior. My designs are inspired by the idea of Orlando’s fluidity of identity. I also drew inspiration from historic fashion, 16th and 18th century, a time when male and female dress was exactly that, clearly differentiated. An example, my optical corset-bodice, is an 18th century silhouette, but I chose an op-art print fabric suggestive of illusion, a distortion of body image. In my work I try to convey narrative using dress in relation to the human form. The collection culminates in a short film, showcasing my fashion and artwork, viewable on my Instagram.  ‘…clothes have… more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.’ Orlando