Narrative Threads: Writing the Rorschach Blot

Some may reject the circus and drama of fashion, but that clothes hold both great cultural meaning and affective power is undeniable;
they can evoke fantasies, bring back memories, and have the capability to transform someone entirely. They communicate so much and hold
so much latent power, but the extent of this power is particular to the individual wearing or viewing the item of clothing in question.

The project certainly had the potential of being too prescriptive for the writers. Instead of burdening them with the designers’ entire concept or motivation for their collections we instead allowed them only to view the Lookbooks for the collections; the writers were left to work freely from images of the designs rather than feel too directed or influenced by themes or inspirations. 

The texts aren’t intended to describe the designs or validate the artistic credibility and contextual importance of the designers’ work.
The texts instead set out theoretical contexts, spaces and uses for the clothing, imagining their life and influence beyond the fashion showcase and beyond the fixed narrative of the fashion world. Each design becomes a magical object that somehow bewitches the writer into a dream of their own making. Discovering these designs has made characters appear; years go by; emotions stir; action be triggered; lives begin and end.

In a way, these writings are highly experimental translations or reiterations of the collections. They include decipherable information
to a point, but more importantly, they reveal the specific interpretation of their reader / writer. The pieces all have a quality of being almost instantaneous, like the writers’ work has come from the interpretative splurge of seeing a Rorschach blot. 

The designs are like any other work of art in their ability to invite interpretation and inspire a chain of creativity, and this project was made all the more stimulating through its core aim to bring about cross-cultural collaboration. Thank you to all the writers for their openness and
enthusiasm for this project.

Jen Calleja
Literature Curator, Another Austria