photo of iron cobra with ken farrell by skye regan
above is a picture from the show graham and i hosted a few weeks back - the one where i wore the borrowed dress from honest threads. i was hoping to be able to report more interesting findings regarding my experience of trying to be someone else by wearing their clothes. really, though, i think i just discovered that i must be bigger than anyone who wears this dress in a comfortable manner. i am very tall, so the dress' waistline hit me in the bottom of the ribs. the sensation of being squeezed from all sides really eclipsed any subtler experiences that may have been offered me in this borrowed gear. that said, i did feel much more myself when i returned to my plaid a-line skirt and turtle neck sweater in the show's second half (about four hours into the epic line-up and seven hours into wearing the dress). as a curious side note, the dress was bruisingly tight but the cardigan was massive.
all this brings me to some actual points of interest regarding my evening's attire. when i went to return the items to honest threads, i did, indeed, find information about them on the wall. the reason we had missed it in the first place is that these articles had be part of another artist's piece and were thus photographed and written about as part of something bigger. actually, they seemed to be part of two interrelated projects by toronto artist stephanie cormier. the series, called the goodwill and salvation project, consisted of purchasing garments from thrift stores, embroidering inspirational sayings into their seams and then donating them back to the stores (or returning them). the dress i borrowed was kept (and presumably worn) by her because the embroidery was visible. the cardigan, on the other hand, seemed to be part of an offshoot project. it has a name sewn into the collar (a feature that drew me to it, actually). miss cormier would set pieces with names in them aside in an attempt to research and/or track down the former owners. i know that the embroidered dresses were photographed by her in organic heaps and forms but know very little about the clothing genealogy project and where/if it terminated. i would be very interested to find out, though, as both of these undertakings sparked just as much curiosity in me as the garments i was so drawn to. i see she also contributed to the portable library project, so if anyone has any big scoops on her or these project, feel free to pass them along. it felt like such a treasure hunt to find as much as i have. it also feels like a hunt similar to the one she is on in finding former clothing owners. miss cormier, did you ever fathom that this intrigue would extend in two directions? maybe you did.