Drawing Choreography: Jacket Undone

We can wear all sorts of things on our sleeves, hearts, patches, badges, labels, logos, safety pins, and these things are revealing in different ways. Similarly, stitching can be visible or hidden, and the construction of a piece of clothing can be more or less tangible. In the case of this work coat, it’s not so much a case of wearing the emotional or psychic inside on the outside, but rather an attempt to make the piece of clothing speak about the labour (skilled and unskilled!), effort and time taken to make it. This coat is an edited version of an old traditional work jacket – hard-wearing material, utility above all, protective and useful. However, instead of badges, this jacket has several images sewn onto the outside of it. The images are prints on fabric, and they show various stages in the making of the garment, with the aim being to draw attention to the work that’s invested in a work-coat. It’s a slow process, and we’ve drawn it out even more – the fabric is bought, cut, washed, dyed, washed again, pressed… This work coat is a record of the transformation of material into an object – in some way perhaps all garments are, but this one wants to visualize effort, a network of activities and people, and generally the type of behind-the-scenes labour which, when forgotten, makes it easier to think about clothing as being non-political, or not complicit in damaging economies.