DescriptionElements of Quality: Beyond seamlines and fabrics
This workshop is an enquiry into the combined material and social construction of garment quality. Beyond a garment’s seams and materials, it aims to explore how quality is understood through the everyday wear of clothing, from the perspective of the user. Expectations for garment quality have co-evolved over time alongside changes in the way clothing is produced, consumed and used. It is no longer usual to pass garments down through generations, nor is it
generally expected that garments should last more than a few years. Our experiences of quality are critical to how we understand, care for and relate to our clothes and are thus implicitly connected to sustainability – yet the notion of quality in use remains an underexplored part of fashion culture.
Through processes of discussion, reflection and making, the workshop will invite participants to consider how they understand, recognise, engage and enjoy quality through their everyday wear and care of clothing. Leading from participant experience and working with garments, text, image making and other artefacts, the workshop will pool together different representations of
quality. Through considering the relational connections, the workshop will help to expand on the meaning of quality, where it exists and who creates it. Further, it will help to highlight how these subjective experiences of quality are critical to our relationships that form fashion.
The workshop will begin with a 5 minute introduction to different contexts of quality from the facilitators. Participants will then be divided into groups for 20 minutes to discuss and collectively create ‘patchworks of quality’. All tools and materials will be provided and participants will be asked to come prepared to the workshop with a sketch, photograph, a text, garment or another related artefact that represents quality to them in either positive or negative forms. The final 5 minutes of the workshop will be used to summarise, conclude and consider ways forward from the work developed. The workshop can accommodate 20 participants.