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© 2019, Jasper Fearnley

LIFE HANGS BY A THREAD

'Life Hangs by a Thread' reties the connection between the past and the present. This collection explores the European “Dreaming” primarily through using handwoven fabrics and handmade fastenings. With reference to tartan and pleating, the aim of this collection is to reconnect the viewer to the fabric of time and place. The construction is representative of my own practice as a weaver. It makes one more aware of where their garments come from, retrieving what we have lost: a meaningful connection to our clothing. 

 

CONSTRUCTION

All fabric in this collection has been hand woven. The cotton shirting was made in Pakistan in collaboration with Shazia Bano and the handwoven denim was made in India through an Ethical Trade initiative called Seven Senses Denim. Here in Melbourne, on my own table loom, I made the chunky woollen pieces. Historically weaving has been considered women’s work, a task that has been practiced by our female ancestors for centuries. Even today approximately 80% of garment workers are women. 

The visible hardware was hand made by Melbourne silversmith Hedwig Crombie. The buckles and jean buttons were moulded by hand in wax, before being cast in brass, and then silver plated. Pressed into the wax moulds are finger prints of the maker, permanently cast into the metal, evidence of the hands that made them. Tiny details like these bring this collection to life, truly emphasising the importance of the handmade. 


Another element of the handmade that is evident in ‘Life Hangs by a Thread’ are the hand-woven baskets. A collaboration with master basketmaker Edit Meaklim resulted in the construction of three baskets: two shopper sand a backpack. Under her guidance, and the hospitality of the Basketmakers of Victoria, I was able to learn some basic basket making skills myself, and wove another four baskets for this collection; a headpiece, a corset, and two clutches.

 

THE FILM

This film acts as a final documentation of my graduate collection 'Life Hangs by a Thread', showcasing three outfits from the collection. The narrative tells the folktale of the creation of the featured tartan. The tartan was developed here in Melbourne on my own table loom, designed and hand woven into thick woollen shawls, pockets and tunics. It was then recreated by hand weavers from Pakistan into soft and supple cottons. But the narrative tells a different story; that of the women who, throughout history have worked the textile industry, passing down skills from grandmother, to mother and to daughter.

Filmed, Written, Directed and Edited by Jasper Fearnley / Starring Keely Bradley, Emma Hakansson and Ailene Wu / Garments by Jasper Fearnley / Jewellery by Hedwig Crombie / Featuring music by Cloud Farm Studios / With special thanks to Maggie Campbell-Jones.

 

MELBOURNE FASHION WEEK

I was lucky to be selected for inclusion in The Student Designer Runway at Melbourne Fashion Week 2017. I showcased five out of six outfits from my collection 'Life Hangs By A Thread' and went on the win Runner Up in the Student Designer Award. 

Photographs by Lucas Dawson, David Thompson and Sydney Low. Film by Tig Terrera / Edited by Ribal Hosn / Garments by Jasper Fearnley / Modelled by Mackie Tang

 
 

Collection Development

This photoshoot and short film documents the early developmental stages of 'Life Hangs By A Thread'. Exploring the folklore of European dreaming, the garments showcase traditional textile techniques such as hand pleating and hand weaving. By placing emphasis on women's work and the hand made, Life Hangs By A Thread reties the link between past and present.

Photographed by Hannah Alexander / Modelled by Astrid Hansen / Jewellery by Hedwig Crombie / Garments and and film by Jasper Fearnley