TEXL 2300: Fiber, Fabric, Fashion

My “FFF” class is going to be at the top of my list this semester!

 My instructor is the sweetest, gentlest, and wisest teacher I have yet to encounter at NSCAD. A softspoken lady with Japanese roots, she introduced the course in the first lecture by talking about our relationship to our own bodies and how every person has true beauty. Beauty that can not be seen on the outside, beauty that is found on the inside. Our character that can be developed, nurtured, matured. She spoke of wisdom, of learning, of teaching ourselves how to look at our bodies with love. Then she introduced assignment #1: create a body double.

So this Friday afternoon we collected in S301 with our three rolls of duct tape and fitted but-not-tight t-shirts and listened as our wonderful instructor described the process we were about to complete. “Each and every body is beautiful…” she began. “A work of art.” She told us that everyone can make themselves look better, a new haircut, adding make-up to the face, and buying new clothes but everyone has a unique shape that is 100% their own. No one is perfectly symetrical, there is always one shoulder that is slightly raised above the other. One eye is a little smaller than the other. This is how we tell each other apart.

As we always think of ourselves to look a certain way our objective with these body doubles was to capture what our bodies really look like, so we can see ourselves as others see us. It was odd to think about but as she mentioned we never truly see our bodies. We see reflections, we see pieces but we never see our real body as a whole. How can we compare ourselves to others when we don’t know what we really look like? Everyone has the same body parts, everyone is similar so what exactly makes us distinct and recognizable as a solitary person.

The first part of this assignment was to create a  t-shirt that would cover the upper and lower torso as well as the hips. I cut apart two t-shirts, sewing the sleeve of the second into the first to create a neck, and the bottom half of the second shirt to create a ‘skirt’ for the first.

In teams of two we took turns wrapping duct tape around each other to create a sized likeness of our bodies, going in and around the lumps and bumps that give us distinction from other people. At the end we cut them off, peeling them back like a second layer of skin. This is only the first half of creating my ‘double’ that I am excited to use as a mannequin for TEXL2400 and TEXL2200!  

Next class we will give our ‘bodies’ structure, stuffing them and creating a more solid piece to work with.

Here is an image I found that is similar to my assignment, only shorter.



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