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Rag Trade Art Work, 2016 | from the Rag Trade series | painter felt from recycled fibres | ca. 80 x 60 cm | To be worn or hung on a wall.

The Rag Trade carpet is a condensed form of the fashion cycle: from fiber to cloth to garments to shreds, at once becoming and already trampled underfoot. If the pace continues to speed up, what will be left to appreciate in the future? Today, as soon as something is produced, it is already obsolete. Overproduced luxury items are destroyed to avoid downpricing, while fast fashion is ‘recycled’, shredded to pieces. With ‘The Rag Trade’, I sought to express the personal disillusionment with the industry that I felt towards the end of my fashion design degree. We now live in a world of overproduction and overconsumption where it is easy to feel that all has been done already. When sales objectives dictate the designs, the results are predictable and the excitement disappears. The motives are barely concealed, the dream fades away and the clothes are again nothing more than material put into shape. Garments lose their value for consumers and the industry itself. What is the point in producing more, only to sell more, in consuming for short-term gratification and entertainment? Why this extreme exploitation of human and environmental resources? Confronted with the consequences of industrialist over-enthusiasm, it is left to today’s graduates to question and reshape the workings of the industry. Can fashion be repositioned as a creative discipline and can makers become more aware of the consequences of each individual decision? In today’s information age, fashion has lost its innocence, leaving no more excuses for ignorance of its inherent failures.

THE RAG TRADE Installation, 2016

The Rag Trade, 2016 | from the Rag Trade series | painter felt from recycled fibres | 250 x 300 cm | To be placed where visitors have to walk over it.

photos Sue Prescott, The End of Fashion exhibition

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2016 – The End of Fashion, Massey University, Wellington (NZ) Conference & Exhibition

Painter felt from recycled fibres