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Title: Narrative embellishments
Authors: Tan, J 
Issue Date: 2009
Source: [Exhibition catalog]- Tan, J. Narrative embellishments. Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 2009
Publisher: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
ISBN: 978-962-367-650-2 (Exhibition catalog)
Description: In his seminal monograph, Modesty in Dress, Laver (1969) points out that clothing does not merely function as protection against the natural elements, but is also used as a form of language. Indeed, whether in past or present, tribal or modern societies, women and men have and continue to choose to wear particular styles and types of clothing to express their personalities, moods and/or statuses. This research attempts to mobilise the meaning conveying capabilities of clothing to narrate a story and forward a feminist argument.
In the narrative/argumentative collection of garments which will serve as the final product of the research process, I attempt to illustrate the paradox which exists in contemporary society’s notion of the ideal female body. The vocabulary which I will engage to articulate my narrative/argument is constituted by materials, cuttings, and embellishments, which are the foundational blocks of clothing’s non-verbal linguistic ability. More specifically, the garments in the collection are created by integrating traditional handicraft techniques, like embroidery and beading with innovative technology like laser engraving and digital printing.
This project brings together contemporary feminist theories pertaining to the relationships between women and clothes/fashion with fashion design practice. It does not merely shore up the various methodologies through which clothing can be used to narrate and argue, but launches a self-reflexive critique of the medium of clothing and fashion.
Exhibition period: June 2009
Venue: The Fashion Gallery, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Appears in Collections:Book

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