Who wore this vintage garment before me and what connects us?
This project took inspiration from a Vintage 1960’s Sequined Pink Long Cheongsam.
The Virtual Reality infinite environment is bounded by the dress’s finite constraints: the sky that defines the horizon of this atmosphere is inspired by the dim green light of the sequins as they reflect onto each other, the sound of the sequins rubbing against each other is similar to the sound of sitting under a willow tree, but the touch of these sequins feels like fish scales.
Background sound by Venerus (on Spotify) in special collaboration with this project, the sound mimics the elements curated on the VR experience, the sounds of breathing, opening doors, and whispering voices were used to convey the sensation of a ghostly presence.
Vintage 1960’s Sequined Pink Long Cheongsam.
Buying vintage is often romanticised among those who practice it, a great ‘treasure hunting’ for rare ‘vintage findings’.
The notions of rarity and special value that are added to those pieces is represented by the golden pot in which this experience is laid. I imagined the feeling of finding a special vintage piece to be the same as of finding an oasis on a desert, represented by a vast blue, orange and yellow horizon. Pieces of vintage carry a certain aura, but there is a special je ne sais quoi fueled by the inherent mystery of this particular Cheongsam.
Vintage Ghosts, explores the virtual identity of a vintage dress, in which past ‘owners’ are imagined as part of that that defines the dress and its ‘experiences’.
The object is endlessly touched by those who purchase, maintain and alter it.
Who burnt its lining while ironing, or ripped a few sequins on the bottom left side of the zipper?
This a a celebration garment, apart from nothing discrete, the dress is pink and painted by thick brushes of beaded flowers... It is indeed a statement piece.
She ordered the Cheongsam to be handmade for a special occasion, to receive an acclaimed prize in 1963, Shanghai.
And later died in 1987 shortly after touching its sequins to remember that night one last time.
She is a fictional character, her name is Yin Zize and she is a writer.
Being the first owner she is the fictional ghost that inhabits my Cheongsam, the one who ordered it, had picked the textile for it, decided of style details and above it all... The one who wore it first, her figure is preserved in a bubble of paper wrap to convey her godlike eternity, and like a Pharaoh, her virtual tomb shall be laid.
Zise loved her Marlboros but above it all she loved to write, but the combination of both was exhilarating.
Lungs are framed by a pack of Marlboro and surrounded by butterflies, the ultimate metaphor to Yin’s metamorphosis and rebirth,through spirit and wear.
The bust and frame of this character are golden, as a symbolism of herintrinsic connection to the dress and golden pot in which it lays in VR.
The head is of solar panels, this godlike entity is powered by solar panels that are powered by the gold of her bust and frame. The ecological factor of vintage shopping.
Her hair is of quilted brown leather, to symbolise a symbolic comfort.
Her heart is also on display, to represent emotional memories of vintage garments.
On her right lays a virtual version of an Egyptian Ushabti, who were believed to look after / work for their master’s in tthe afterlife.
Photos of those who bought and wore the dress after Yin float of the space.
This space showcases the moments when the dress was worn by Damara on the London tube in 2016 on the way to a memorable night out with a friend, and Ayllin while trying it on at home in 2018.
The garment becomes a gallery of its surreal digital elements and own material factual memories.
The dress is now an immersive shared experience, that evolves and exppands with its cultural timeline.
Like ushabtiu in ancient Egyptian tombs, here miniature bodied figures represent the afterlife servants of this Vintage Ghost. The mythical side of a great vintage finding, the fantasia spirits that enables the right person to find the right piece.
They symbolise the ‘magical’ and ‘slow’ process behind new meanings being created upon vintage objects.
Fashion does indeed travel beyond boarders, even though people are confined to them.
vintage garments travels in time and spacel, therefore are worn by people of different cultures, appropriated for different purposes. As objects , opposed to people, know no ‘walls’
or discrimination apart from the social-political context that is deposited onto them.
Conceptualising the ‘aura’ of a Chinese vintage dress and highlighting the multi ethnic possible owners altermodernist values are practiced, rather than a wester iconic garment, such as a t-shirt, one is faced by elements such as the African mask, Matryoshka doll and Earth globe.
Hereelements of globalisation and of the intangible collective memory that objects carry, are crucial to the dress and the experience – notion of ‘multiculturalist essentialism’.
Avatar heads symbolise the mass consumption of fashion, the notion of seasonal trends, and need for integration. The smaller heads rush towards the bigger head.
A visual representation of the zeitgeist behind trends and the need for the feeling of belonging.
Side by side with the first owner of this vintage piece, the bigger head symbolises the inner battle between differentiation and integration.
This vintage garment here represents the process of differentiation.
As vintage garment or vintage aesthetics are at times trendy or worn in a trendy manner, in general they fall away from a current aesthetic.
The image of the dress can be seen on the MacBook screen, along with overgrown vegetation around it alludes to the idea of obsolescence. Perhaps the current owner feels tempted to sell the dress online, in order to buy a newer, trendier garment.
A sofa sits on top of an Apple MacBook to illustrate pop-cultured typical Millennial
idea of comfort and intimacy - home - Netflix and chill. It aims that the viewer feels like they belong in this VR environment, as they would in their vintage garment.
Beta fish are known for their territorial behaviour, here they oat around butterflies and coral fish - the harmony of sharing a space with the unknown.
That unknown inhabits the past of vintage garments, people often joke that someone perhaps died in them. Expresses that one vintage garments shares, sometimes many, owners over time.
In this dress flowers are painted by sequins and beads, a celebration of nature.
The sound of the sequins rubbing against each other is similar to the sound of sitting under a willow three, but the touch of these sequins feels as fish scales.
This was illustrated by the Willow trees that surround this space and the coral fish that inhabit it.
A virtually infinite environment is bounded by it’s the dress’ finite constraints: the sky that defines the horizon is inspired by the dim green light of the sequins as they reflect onto each other.