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Lowell Girls - a local & gentle garment collection

Every day in Lowell, MA, the Boott Cotton Mills museum operates a 1920s weave room, in which 100 year old looms produce rolls of cotton canvas, as a demonstration of the inner workings of a textile mill. This fabric is then sold by the yard at the visitor center. I wish to create a small clothing collection, with this fabric made 30 miles away from home, as a prototype of what a re-industrialized but socially conscious american society could produce. The collection is a tribute to the working women of Lowell, past and present: functional spring-summer workwear with short sleeves, aprons and pockets. The patterns are based on rectangles, to accomodate the small widths of the fabric, and waste as little as possible. These techniques are inspired by ancient folk costume traditions from accross the globe, and call for very simple sewing and cutting skills. Thus, both knowledge and process can easily be passed on to a wide audience, encouraging the making of one's own clothes. Ideally the project becomes a collaboration with the Lowell Historic Park, by highlighting and giving a contemporary purpose to the great production capacity they represent. Its final form may be a series of prototypes, photographs and sewing patterns - and if possible a runway presentation. The 'brand' or 'house' I am creating for this is called Habeas Corpus - for the body is truly the center of my interests, and the best gauge to determine and assess our material world.

Funded by Boston, MA (March 2015)