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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.