How much power does one dress have?
Image credit Justin Lambert
The dress - a symbol of woman - oppression, femininity, frivolity.
In reality one dress can mean a lot to a lot of people. The people who grow and gather the fibre, spin the yarn, weave the fabric, design the style, cut and stitch the finished dress. Then the embellishment, a beautifully embroidered dress can take months to finish - this can give purpose and employment as well as spread a message through the symbolism of its design. This is why a dress is an artwork, not just something to be worn once or twice then discarded for land-fill. I create dresses that are heirlooms to be worn with love, treasured, fixed, altered, stored, displayed, kept forever.
For the past few months I have been working on co-curating the FiLiArt show, which is open to the public from the 10th -16th December, at Oxford House in Bethnal Green. It is going to be an incredible showcase along with an inspiring symposium on Sunday 11th December.
We are living in a time when our world reveres misogyny over experience, women working equivalent jobs to men now aren't being paid until the new year, and glass ceilings still need to be smashed through.
Yet women are still people, I so truly believe that difference should be seen in each individual, not due to gender. We either sit back and take it and nothing changes, or we fight...or at least do something, something that might inspire others to come together and make women stronger. Being immersed in incredible feminist art inspired me to create a couture gown covered in the feminist message. One Dress - for equality, for women, for voices, for everyone.
This project is going to take at least a year to complete and will be a single work that will travel around the world, first to be made in London (hand crafted using traditional couture techniques and sustainable cruelty free fabrics), then embellished by women both in the UK and at fair trade units in India and Africa - completely covering the dress in powerful, positive words that mean "feminism". Then the dress will be worn by inspirational women and photographed by fabulous female photographers.
Anyone can contribute to this piece, I am asking women (or people of any gender, who believe in equality) to submit words that mean "Feminism" to them. Or choose one of my five - Equality, Respect, Emancipation, Sisterhood, Solidarity.
With One Dress I bring together my passions - Couture craftsmanship, Fair trade and Feminism - into one piece of Art. I suddenly feel like I am part of history, that this dress will be a symbol for women of our time - a metaphor for bringing our voices together, to be heard, to be respected. There is a lot of room on the dress, for a lot of words. I'm offering the chance to shape this dress, to be part of it's history, to be part of women's history.
Let's turn from despair to hope, let's be heard, let's shout for those who have no voices, let's make some art!
One Dress will be unveiled, before embellishment, at the FiLiArt show in December, before it starts it's journey.
Yours in One Dress
All images (c) Atelier Tammam