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DRESS-INDEX #5


Monday, February 11, 2013

RESEARCH.

To continue my project I started doing research on various postures students at the Rietveld Academy take during making, creating, building their work. I have made pictures of how people behave in their clothing, the way their clothes work with the body while working and noted that the students don’t dress according to the task they are working on, like for example people working at building sites do. These students just wear what they like to wear!
So is it more image than comfort and protection what they are looking for?
Although the clothes do not seem to really get into their way whilst working, I was especially intrigued by their shoes.
I noted a difference between comfortable and less comfortable shoes for working and I also noted that shoes sometimes are used as some kind of tools. The shoes that attracted my interest the most were the shoes looking far from comfortable.

The black platform shoes are less flexible to the way we move our body. The height of the sole seems to limit adjustment to movement. The platform shoes do seem to be used as “tools” much more than flat, flexible shoes. These white sneakers below look much more comfortable, because of their flexibility. They adjust more to the foot in different postures.

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On the first movie can be seen how difficult it is wearing platform shoes going down the stairs. Why would someone wear these shoes I wondered…? As the boy wearing them explains in the second movie it was the design that triggered him buying them. “It was an online buy so I haven’t fitted them. And by wearing I noticed the difficulty walking on them and how heavy they actually are. They are absolutely not comfortable” he remarks. So it looks platform shoes are anything but comfortable. How can it be that these uncomfortable shoes are so popular at the Rietveld Academy.

 

 

Functionality

I am getting more and more intriged by them… Is it purely the image that makes them so popular or are these the new “tools” for Rietveld students? I started observing a boy from the fashion department wearing platform shoes every day. I observed how he walks on them, works with them, if he uses them in a wider way than just shoes. I tried to find out what kind of associations the shoes brings me and tried to find out what the functionality of these shoes might be.

To continue my research creating an outfit based on the platform shoes and the manipulation of comfort by aesthetics I created an non-outfit. Based on the idea of manipulating comfort I created an outfit made of chicken wire. I wanted to created something big, non-movable, almost like a sculpture. The wearer would be able to stand in it, but won’t be able to move.

A dress to impress, stripped of all comfort, to be worn maybe only for a moment. I tried to let the wearer become one with the outfit, feeling like a statue, raising you up to higher spirits, standing above the crowd…
After creating this ‘sculpture’-dress I realized that this wasn’t the right path to continue. It looked like a finished product, like a mannequin dress, instead of a manipulation of comfort. It wasn’t that inspiring to me any more so I decided to take a step back and take a new look at the platform shoes where it started with.

 

I found these new pictures of ways to manipulate and discomfort your body which I thought to be an interesting continuation on for my outfit. I thought these images were interesting, having to do with ‘doubling’ parts of your outfit and manipulating your body height or the shape; making some parts of your body more present, visual or protected than others. Almost like an armor reshaping your body giving it new dimensions, in some way like the platform shoes do.

As this shoe double worked out really well, it raised my curiosity if this reshaping was also possible on a more close-to-body method like underwear or socks. I reshaped socks by building in clogs. In this way it almost looks like the foot is morphed into a new shape. I continued doing this with other parts of the body reshaping hips, shoulders and head.

 

Result

 

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