London based Brisbane artist Emily McGuire combines her training in fashion design with a critical interest in the political forces of fashion that shape our lived experience. Her work explores the complex relationships between fashion, sustainability and female identity using textiles, thread, and secondhand clothing.
By juxtaposing fast fashion and handcraft, Fashion Unlearned questions the powerlessness of consumers to access fashion beyond means of consumption. Repetitive embroidery stitching constrains and fragments each secondhand garment or cut-out logo to demonstrate an act of resistance to the formation of dressed identity through consumerism. Since fashion is sold as a “closed” product, consumers are dissuaded from personalising their clothing to remain de-skilled, apolitical participants in the fashion world. Fashion Unlearned prompts viewers to contemplate this wilful obedience to the forces of mainstream fashion so they might discover more meaningful and empowering ways of engaging with clothes.
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