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The Cleaved Garment: The Maker, The Wearer and the “Me and Not Me” of Fashion Practice

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This article explores the ways that the self and the garment may become entwined—how through the acts of making and of wearing clothes, the garment and self become cleaved, both to and from one another. The article presents the processes of making and of using garments as both a negotiation with the garment’s materiality and the projection of the user’s fantasy onto their material form—processes through which the maker or user’s agency may become entangled with the material agency of the garment. Though the relationships between “the wearer and the garment” and between “the garment and the maker” have been addressed, these two sets of relationships are often viewed as bounded or mutually exclusive. The distance between maker and user in contemporary commodity cultures often renders the maker inert in the experience of the wearer; the maker’s agency is viewed as bounded within the transaction of making. This article suggests a rethinking of this dynamic, examining the ways that the maker is present for the wearer in their experience of the garment.




Sampson, E. (2018). The Cleaved Garment: The Maker, The Wearer and the “Me and Not Me” of Fashion Practice. Fashion Theory - Journal of Dress Body and Culture, 22(3), 341–360.

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