The Wear Project: Identity and clothing in relation to costume design and education

Nadia Malik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


When we meet a character in a performance, the implicit understanding is that they have existed until the point where we join their journey and will continue existing after we leave them. Their clothing tells a story, a history to the audience before we hear them speak and before any action takes place. As a Costume Designer and Lecturer, my awareness of costuming as an anthropological practice has led me to explore these principles using myself as the subject of scrutiny. For one year I am logging every clothing combination I go through along with memories, prices, locations and dates, in order to explore the conscious and subconscious clothing decisions I make and the stories, embedded in my clothes, that I am surrounded by every day. What does my wardrobe mean to me inwardly and reveal to my audience outwardly, and how does this ‘me-search’ extend my artistic practice?

The Wear Project will be a visual archive, a teaching tool, and a foundation for further academic research and writing through the questions it raises about storytelling, memory, dress and audience: a personal interrogation generating a critical framework for understanding the dramaturgical significance of costume.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFuturescan 3
Subtitle of host publicationIntersecting Identities
EditorsHelena Britt, Laura Morgan, Kerry Walton
PublisherFTC: Association of Fashion and Textiles
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781911217084
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


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