Caused by Great Britian leaving the Eropean Union through various scenarios of Brexit, there is a high insecurity in the political and economical situation as well as social order. With the trench coat‘s origin as a military attire in the First World War, there is a visible line between the post-war period and today‘s political conflicts. People losing their nationalities and belonging while still suffering from post-war affects such as hunger and homelessness. Today‘s Brexit is showing a similar ignorance of the social responsibility and instead exposing political authority.
For the project‘s concept, the trench coat being a symbolic object of the UK and its origin in functional wear act as a first base for the design development emphasising the functionality of the garment by keeping its heritage character. The final prototype is a supplemental protective garment worn over business and trench coats providing security in active protests and belonging as well as giving a political voice.
THE PROJECT WAS STRUCTURED ALONG THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DESIGN THINKING PROCESS: EMPATHISING, DEFINING, PROTOTYPING AND TESTING. THE AIM WAS NOT TO CREATE A FINISHED GARMENT BUT TO UNDERSTAND THE INTERACTIVE PROCESS OF DESIGNING. STARTING WITH A MATERIAL AND SOCIO-HISTORICAL RESEARCH OF THE TRENCH COAT, I EXPERIMENTED WITH SMALL-SCALE SWATCHES USING ISOLATION MATERIAL AND THE DECONS-TRUCTED COAT. CONTINUING WITH FIRST SKETCHES AND DRAPES, I ENGAGED IN A VISUAL RESEARCH OF PROTEST WEAR. I SPECIFICALLY LOOKED AT THE BREXIT DEMON-STRATIONS IN THE UK CONNECTING THESE TO MOVEMENTS TAKING PLACE IN HONG KONG AT THE SAME TIME. WITHIN BOTH THESE CONTEXTS, FASHION PROTECTS AND VISUALLY EXPRESSES A SOCIO-POLITICAL ORIENTATION.
THE FINAL PROTOTYPE CONSISTS OF RECYCLED PET AS A SURFACE FABRIC AND RECYCLED CELLULOSE FIBRE AS A FILLING MATERIAL. ITS PRINT EXPRESSES A POLITICAL STATEMENT AND ONE OF IDENTIFICATION. WEARERS FORM A RECOGNISABLE CROWD BY TRANSFERRING THEIR OUTER APPEARANCE INTO POLITICAL EXPRESSION. FASHION CAN THUS BE DEFINED AS A NEW NONVIOLENT PROTESTING MEDIUM.
concept, project development, Photos and graphic design by Sarah luisa kuhlewind