When I discovered this beautiful ultramarine blue bodice in an unmarked bin in the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection on Friday afternoon, I wanted to clap my hands with glee. The brilliance of the colour captivated me. Although it shows signs of stress and the inevitable decay, the colour has not faded at all. In fact, it looks almost as brilliant as this JCrew Schoolboy blazer that I purchased a few weeks ago for my back to school wardrobe. How uncanny is that?
Judith Clark said that: "Curating, though its ruthless selection inevitably creates new patterns of chronology.... It also encourages us to read time backwards, to read it from where we are standing, always in the present, acknowledging that this is our perspective" (162). Could this the connection I'm looking for - the part that makes the project relevant, fresh and alive?
It also brings to mind Walter Benjamin's concept of "Tigersprung", fashion's leap into the past to be reborn anew. In his work on Passangenarbeit otherwise known as The Arcades Project, Benjamin wrote "Fashion has the scent of the modern whenever it stirs in the thicket of what has been. It is the tiger's leap into the past" (qtd. in Lehmann 241).
This happenstance discovery feels like a metaphysical leap that expresses the eternal within the transient. Benjamin would describe that feeling as "Chock" - the "sudden realization of materialization of the metaphysical element in the world" (qtd. in Lehmann 227).
de la Haye, Amy and Judith Clark. "One Object: Multiple Interpretations". Fashion Theory 12.2 (2008): 137-170. Print.
Lehmann, Ulrich. "Tigersprung: Fashion in Modernity". MIT Press: Cambridge, 2000. Print.