This is a social experiment about the conventions of dressing: challenging how we engage with fabric, how we fashion our identity. Corpora seeks to connect with others and shape this part of our culture.
Initiated by Nicci James and Simon Schmidt to explore our common experiences with a curious mindset. Corpora is about joining voices: seeking to open a dialogue about what dressing is and what it can be.
This is a space to share stories, collect and discuss personal experiences about the human relationship with clothes, from the physical to the intellectual and back again.
The Social Question
Designing for Bodies not for Genders. Flexing Gender. Encouraging freedom, play, expression. Choose or challenge traditional notions - where are your boundaries? Are there boundaries? Are they even real?
“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”
- Rita Mae Brown
Am I every woman?
Words by Nicci James, 2018
The tradition I come from. Women. We. We are women. I am a woman. I am the culmination of all the women who came before me, and the world’s influence upon them. I am all the knitted cardigans, the frilled dresses, the caring for dollies. I am the ‘don’t do that it’s not ladylike’ little girl. I am the lady. THE lady to little girls on the street. I am an example now in the women’s tradition of a ‘well turned out’ young woman. Except I’m not. I don’t wear the dresses anymore because I don’t want to associate with the tradition. I feel uncomfortable dressing as ‘the woman’ - because I don’t want to be associated with this negative. Why? I know nothing of the mens tradition from the inside.
I was taught to question it, but not really. I was taught to ask questions. I was taught to think for myself. I was taught to stand up for myself and pay attention, but not be cheeky. I am cheeky, and have never grasped what this word really meant. I don’t feel comfortable in ‘male’ clothes because it throws up too many negatives about my identity, about my sexuality and it makes me uncomfortable. Even the female versions of ‘power dressing’ feels wrong to be in. It doesn’t work. I am uncomfortable in male-centric garments but I am a no frills kind of ‘gal’ - whatever that word means.
“If you want liberation from masculinity, the first step is a refusal to propagandise human life as a narrow set of choices derived from one of two categories.”
- Van Badham