After spending a couple of months researching images from horror and science fiction films as inspiration for the Continuity Ritual exhibition, I’ve developed a fascination with fashion relating to death and the afterlife. How perfect to discover (thanks to Peppermint Magazine) Melbourne designer and funeral celebrant Pia Interlandi and her beautiful Garments for the Grave.
Pia looks at our connection to loved ones who die through the important ritual of clothing the body for an ecologically sensitive burial. Her experiments with the breakdown of fabrics and the body into the earth is recorded in a documentary by Associate Professor Kathy Hope called Death Down Under to be screened some time this year.
Pia has experimented with dissolvable fabrics and natural fibres to create a capsule collection of clothing that will soon be available via her website. I think they are too beautiful just for burial so I’m expecting fashionistas will buy the clothing to wear from this life to the next, proving you can take it with you!
Mourning jewellery and clothing is another fascinating connection between fashion, death and the afterlife. Craft Victoria featured The Weeping Dress last year, a performance and installation by artist Martha McDonald. The dress was made of black crepe paper and during the performance water was dripped though the dress (tears) to allow the colour to bleed onto the ground.