23" x 15" x 12"
Thread, silk noil, stitching on industrial felt
Photo: Philip Cohen
The fashion system as we know it today essentially began in the 14th century. In the early 1300s most Western Europeans wore the same style of clothing, in the 1340s an accelerated rate of change began as the middle class gained more wealth and wanted to look equal to the nobility. In 1348 the onset of the plague wiped out huge populations from the labor force. Less labor was available and could command a higher price. A wealthy merchant class developed and thus the cycle for new, exciting and more expensive clothing began.
This piece plays with the sinister and the playful, the old tradition of costume and the new.