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Matilda Aspinall

Published date
27 Jun 2018

Unpicked: historical refashioning skills as a foundation for sustainable clothing design

College: Camberwell College of Arts

Supervisors: Professor Rebecca Earley, Emeritus Professor Kay Politowicz


Owing to the shifting value of clothing both economically and culturally, the majority of the garments in museums and private collections have been altered or repaired. Some of these pieces have been completely refashioned, restyled and even created from previous garments. By conducting an object-based analysis of historical clothing that fits into this category, could such examples be utilised as a foundation for designing contemporary sustainable clothing?

The research begins by establishing a link between refashioning techniques used over the past two centuries and contemporary sustainable clothing design. The research proposes to critically examine these techniques and to utilise the knowledge gained, to design a collection of women’s clothing that similar to their historical counterparts has the notion of durability incorporated into the seams of their structure.