Metamorphoric fashion: a transformative practice

Sgro, Donna
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Textile and Design Lab and Colab at Auckland University of Technology

Transformation is embedded in the growth of an organism, while fashion, highly responsive to changing social and physical environments, rides the current of flux like a dreamer wandering through darkness. Through my fashion practice, attempts are made to reflect upon, expand and make possible inroads into the translation of this creative movement, from inspiration to mixed garment and textile outcomes. This involves engaging the imagination of possible futures, new approaches, and unknown outcomes, through mixed material expressions. Translating the life cycle of an organism, which is highly adaptive, evolutionary and responsive, this work forms part of my PhD study, “Metamorphoric Fashion”, being undertaken at RMIT University, Melbourne.

Using a practice-led research methodology, which draws upon mixed creative methods, my research attempts to engage with the uncovering of imaginative potentials of fashion and textile processes. The concept of transformation leads this investigation, and initially a study of butterfly metamorphosis was undertaken. This involved “fashion-designer-becoming-lepidopterist”, and engaged a movement between the ordinarily disparate worlds of ecology and creative practice. Using mediums of photography and drawing, a series of transitions were recorded in which the organism underwent both transitional and metamorphic change. Through these methods, meditations on relationships between nature-culture become possible, as thinking about ecology enters the creative process. Through drawing, a series of stylizations developed which recorded the imaginative thinking time, line by line.

My particular fashion practice is in the process of transformation and diversification, reflecting the nature of the metamorphic phenomenon, and the particular interpretations of the butterfly study that an individual approach enables. Aiming to uncover the ways in which the practice is able to accommodate these transformations, forms part of this study. Why this might be important for fashion practice more generally perhaps, is because it identifies a type of practice that attempts to evolve itself, to become something it does not yet know. The research aims to capture this state of becoming, and the perpetual sense of movement.

Metamorphosis , Fashion practice research , Transformation , Imagination , Creative process
Shapeshifting: A Conference on Transformative Paradigms of Fashion and Textile Design, 14-16 April 2014, Auckland, New Zealand
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