︎















ALLEGORIES
OF TOUCH









In any real understanding of making there needs to be an appreciation of the unmaking that shadows it; an appreciation of the pain or harm that may be inflicted to not only a body, but also to the intermingling of bodies, – matter, things and environments. Pain in other bodies and other matter in the course of making, for example, on a small scale in the bruising that occurs in mishandling wood, and on a large scale in the scarification of the earth through deforestation, although not sensate nevertheless has implications for the body in its being in the world, – in its intermingling. This pain to others is a deferral and diversion of pain, which will return pain to some ‘body’ at some time.






Terence Rosenberg, Intermingled Bodies, 2013.





Gerco De Ruijter, Contact Sheet #2 (time), Cropped, 2012.
︎Atlas of Places



















Introduction















Marc Sommer, Seelenkleid, 
2014.
︎ Marc Sommer

Within an atmosphere of incredible change, being it the climate, social structures, digital innovation, and a pandemic, we have the opportunity of exploring introspection and develop a detached understanding of what matters most.

Allegories of Touch uses inner visions that aspire to provoke conversations around the symbiotic relationship between body and garment, the rational and the emotional, skin and fabric, material and product, societies and ecosystems.

This narrative finds its roots in the writings of forward-thinking authors such as Michael Polanyi, Terence Rosenberg, Dedier Anzieu, Elaine Igoe, and Kate Fletcher, to name a few.

The research has started diving into key debates implicitly and explicitly related to the topic of tactility and material cycles, touching on the themes of Tacit Knowledge, Affective Wearing, and Sustainability.

Garments, and textiles, are undeniably instrumental tools for humans, yet in the last decades, their richness is getting lost in the realms of mass production, intrusive advertisement, and labour exploitation.

Garments are not simply visual representatives of culture, but they carry their own material culture within. Indeed, the fashion system is a system of relationships. A clear overview of these relationships might lead us to discover beautiful and innovative answers to our current problems. As well as unmask the difficult truths that are cleverly hidden to the general public by marketers.

It becomes evident that the understanding of fabrics and materials is gaining relevance for a better comprehension of the dangers that overproduction inflicts on workers and the environment.

An impactful change can only generate from the collective understanding of the processes involved in the making, and unmaking of our material needs. It is true not only on an individual basis but on a much bigger scale including co-operation and shared knowledge between industries.

For this reason, this journey hopes to instigate debates and invigorate the mind, reminding the many reasons for which textiles - and materials - are the synthesis, the heart, and the future of the fashion industry.





















01

Individual Perception















I
INNER WEARING




Lina Scheynius, Me in Brussels Spring 2014, 2014.
︎ Lina Scheynius



When writing about the notion of the ‘Skin Ego,’ French psychoanalyst Didier Anzieu considered the skin as an ‘intermediary screen between the psyche and the body.’  Following Anzieu’s perspective, it becomes evident that the reception of a given surface - like the fabric on the skin - allows a stimulation that reaches our brain, and therefore our self and emotions. As a result, the skin is not only a membrane that contains and protects our internal organs, but “a basic datum that is of both an organic and an imaginary order, both a system for protecting our individuality and a first instrument and site of interaction with others.”  The skin serves humans as the container that differentiates one body from another, and simultaneously allows the body to engage with otherness. Indeed, the skin embodies the role of interface between the internal and the external world, providing the individual with the tools required to better understand himself and otherness beyond tangibility.





Skin Geography 01, 2020.




The subjective perception that generates from these encounters introduces us to the notion that garments can affect our internal state. In fact, if the skin represents our ego, then anything that is on the skin becomes an extension of the self. By concealing our skin, clothes embody an expansion of our individuality. This happens both literally and laterally. Indeed, our sense of self builds through wearing.