1. Why did you join the PPE_Refashioned project?
From the introduction of the exhibition It was evident that this project is innovative, educational, sustainable and at the same time meaningful and emotive, a perfectly harmonious fashion narrative for our storytelling brand Cunnington & Sanderson to be a part of. It is a great honor for Cunnington & Sanderson to support this worthy project and to help raise awareness about current challenges with single use garments and excessive and unnecessary wasted fashion. As pioneers in zero waste fashion design and draping, Cunnington & Sanderson feel it is important to be involved and help to find solutions to these environmental & community challenges.
2. What were the used isolation gowns like to work with? When first unboxing, unfolding and revealing these gowns, as designers/creators our senses were immediately provoked intellectually and emotionally.
Time was taken to learn about the gown and understand the fabric structure, how it feels, how it drapes, how it falls, how it moves, the volume, how the gowns can be positioned upon a wearer etc.
3 Describe your garment concept, and the techniques employed? Cunnington & Sanderson wanted to unfold some of the many untold emotive stories that these isolation gowns embody. Filming the movement of the ppe gowns being discarded at the end of use, slowly falling down to the ground and capturing the moments and movements of the gowns being picked up again and reused along with the positive emotions associated with this. Working instinctively with our hands, individual gowns are draped to capture their beautiful movement, silhouette and form in their unapologetically rawest state.
While suspended in mid air a singular drape point upon each gown was chosen, positioned and then sensitively placed upon the body form. Connecting and sewing singular gowns together in numbers, the gown becomes complete and is worn as one, to symbolise the feelings of care, dedication and unity that these gowns evoke. The "gown of care" is a zero-waste design where no part of the gown has been discarded but instead celebrated. The fabric creases with pressure adding an instant texture which then becomes embodied into the gown's history, keeping the undesirable and unique marks and stains which show the hidden truths. These imperfections create a dress that quite literally has been imprinted with the wearer's story.
Cunnington & Sanderson are proud to have their bespoke "gown of care" featured in the @ppe_refashion exhibition at @nottinghamtrentuni. Now extended from the 02nd to 30th October 2023. Curators Katherine Townsend and Eloise Salter.