Passed Down Generations – Christening Dress

I’ve been posting on my blog all this week in relation to Fashion Revolution week. Today’s post is centred around valuing our clothing and viewing it in a long term manner, as something that we pass down the generations.

This christening dress is the epitome of the ‘hand-me-down’. It’s been worn by my family members for at least 3 generations. It is made from Maltese lace and also has Malta’s national cross incorporated into the design. There is a lot of history and sentiment around the dress and if I have children and choose to christen them, I would love to continue the trend.

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In order to make changes in the fashion industry it’s essential that view clothing in a similar way to this Christening dress. Thus, we should invest in clothing that will last and that could possibly be passed down to family members and friends, instead of going straight onto landfill. Clothing is not like food in that once we consume it, it’s finished with and gone- this is not the right attitude to have and yet it is possessed by many. This is because with the rise of social media people can’t stand the embarrassment of being seen in the same dress twice on Facebook. However, it’s better that we buy clothes that we know we will wear multiple times and that we start to care less about others’ judgement on the re-wearing of clothes. Also, a handy tip that I do when shopping is often to ask myself- “Will I still like this in a couple years time?” and in general try to avoid fads.

Tansy E. Hoskins, ‘Stitched Up’ Page 189- Passive consumption means people are presented with ready-made products that they have had no hand in creating…. The consequences are alienation and a tendency not to value the clothes we possess.

In response to Hoskins’ ‘Stitched Up’, an Anticapitalist Book of Fashion, the example of the christening dress is the opposite to this quote since my family and I are part of the meaning and history of this dress. I believe that we have lost the emotional connection with our clothing. When we attach meaning or memories to clothing this leads us to value them and consequently we can’t throw them out. Examples of garments which are connected to memories that I’ve held onto would be the Mickey Mouse t-shirt that I wore at Disneyland when I was 6 or my prom dress. We need to resurrect the symbolism of our clothes and how they make us feel in order to treasure and care for them. Consequently, rather than buying new, we need to fall back in love with the things we already own.

What garments mean a lot to you or your family?- Comment on this post and let me know!

 

Francis Roberto Mattei (Dad), 1963

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Chloe Alicia Mattei (Sister), 1995

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Fraser Morrison (Cousin), 1995

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Anna Lucia Mattei (Me), 1997

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