The Memory of Clothes by Robyn Gibson

By Robyn Gibson

As soon as putting static in a cloth cabinet or folded away in a trunk, lately outfits have chanced on themselves thrown into the highlight. The crowds which are attracted to huge scale model exhibitions staged with expanding frequency in galleries and museums around the globe supply glimpses into the which means that we connect to those goods of garments. except their aesthetic price, outfits manage to evoke problems with id, of the relation of self to physique and self to the area. we will locate ourselves in the course of the reviews of delving into our wardrobes and remembering. outfits are therefore layered with which means in view that they've got the facility to behave as reminiscence activates. Woven into their textile are strains of prior reviews; stitched into their seams are hyperlinks to humans now we have enjoyed and misplaced. seen as visible items, garments isn't frivolous, flippant or silly. In telling and conversing approximately outfits, we show a lot approximately ourselves, our lives and the studies that we drape round bodies. no matter if obtained or hand-crafted, handed down or reconstructed, outfits aid us to build which means as we take into account these issues in our lives that subject.

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So I sat on her bed in the late afternoon in order to fully appreciate that last item hanging in my Mother’s wardrobe. I had glimpsed at it over the years. Perhaps as I teenager, I had tried it on. I can’t recall. She had kept it despite all the moves we made – from Sale to Townsville and back again but her wedding dress always came with us. It wasn’t white and it wasn’t long nor was it lacy or frilly. My Mother had married at the age of thirty-five and felt no need to dress as a fairytale princess instead she had selected an ice blue cocktail length gown ‘created’ by Helena Kaye, a very 19 INTO MY Y MOTHER’S WA ARDROBE Figure 1.

She approached me with arms outstretched and as they folded around me I broke into uncontrollable sobs. Even now, I find it hard to describe the ache that presses on your heart when you realise that someone precious is no longer there. Between the heaving sobs, I croaked into my aunt’s bosom “I want my Mum. ” In my father’s typical stoic manner, he didn’t show any grief, outwardly anyway. Perhaps it was his generation or the fact that he had spent his entire adult life in the military, I don’t know.

The woman working that day seemed delighted that I was making such a sizable donation. As I was about to leave, she whispered “Don’t worry love. ” Did I ever return? No, my Mother had loved those clothes and I felt my heart would break if I saw them waiting/hoping for someone else to love them. Epilogue Sometimes late at night as I am drifting off to sleep, I hear soft murmurings emanating from my wardrobe. If, I listen very carefully I can hear two special dresses sharing secrets, their tales of love and loss and perhaps waiting ever so patiently for the next generation of women in my family to cherish them as I have done.

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