Villa Favard – Florence, Italy 2015
The building of In Transit was a collaborative work for the 2015 IFFTI conference in Villa Favard, Florence. Stories Without Stories was the jumping off point between the designer and fashion thinker Tony Bednall (Manchester Metropolitan University) and the artist Tom Hall – April 2015
“The jacket, left discarded, is a monument to the day to day, dressed up or dressed down, a victim or an agitator; a uniform or symbol of non-conformity. Who is the owner? Why is it here?”
We wanted this collaboration to be about the clash of processes we employ in making work , that of the artist and pattern cutter and our differing questions behind it, so apart from setting out a few basic structural parameters we left as much time directly working together as possible. The scale and ambition of the proposal was realized in the direct period of building, discussing and perhaps arguing ideas through this significant object, discovering the interesting stories behind the stories of this jacket through process, materials and language.
This happened in different subjects of discussion, Tony talking me through the subtler parts of pattern cutting and then us trying to relate that to making in cardboard. It is a beautifully engineered thing a jacket and the physical interrelation between seams, straight and gentle curves and proportion was surprisingly more possible to replicate than we assumed. Other discussions focused around music and ‘ordinary’ (unfashionable) cloths being a dominant indicator of identity, documenting our lives as a more significant cultural dialog than ‘what is fashionable’ or ‘trending’. Thoughts of how fashion ideas and raw materials have a history of global movement and how this mirrors cultural and social political movement now. The global freedom of ideas to transcend physical boarders nation states with the repercussions of this politically in terms of trade, ideologies, people and things.
This idea of movement and transition was mirrored by the people and places the jacket has been conceived and made in and of. From my studio in Syracuse New York to Manchester via packaging and products from China and onto Italy and Florence, each place has left a mark from commerce and colonial trade, from the push and pull in the exchange of ideologies to movement of migrants, from the Baroque to the Middle East. If we look out from our fortunate viewpoint the world is in transit. And soon so might we.
VILLA FAVARD – via Curtatone, 1 – 50123 Florence (Italy)