Blog #6

Fabric, clothing, skin, armor, draping, connections, collections, identity, generosity, and dressing our homes…  these are themes in The Linen Closet and Other Collections; September 8 & 9, 2017, Columbus, Ohio.  Click here to read more about the gently used clothing donation request at the show….We are asking audience to bring some gently used clothing and/or home linens to the concert.  These items will be incorporated into the show (how? you ask… well, come…) and then all will be given to charity.

This gesture by the patrons weaves into the evening’s themes as it highlights both fabric/clothing and gift.  Read on for some musings on second-hand shopping I wrote two years ago:

… Second hand shopping connects you with a community. In very literal ways, when donating or shopping at a Goodwill for example, you really are helping many people with job training, life skills, education, affordable clothes options. I love that people of many walks of life shop side by side. I started shopping this way years ago out of necessity; these days I can afford a first hand item here and there, but I still prefer the second hand spirit.

We buy clothes from others who have decided they don’t need or want these items any more. Maybe they loved them, outgrew them, never used them… changed their identity, lost weight, gained weight, and yes, maybe they died and the family is clearing out the closets.

Each item has a story, a history. Houses are passed along this way. Art is often passed along this way. Furniture moves through generations or families or through antique stores. Admittedly, clothing is more intimate than those things – it is connected to the living flesh of humans; it is skin, armor, packaging, vessel, protection, display, seduction. When I purchase a second hand item, I do wonder about its story, and I am delighted that the previous owner is willing to pass it along…

Buying the second hand item just adds to the layers upon layers of people who have made that item possible: from the cotton farmers, to the mill workers, the weavers, the textile workers, the designers, the market analyzers, the advertisers, the industry CEO’s, the truck drivers, the shop owners, the book keepers, the label makers, the cargo ship haulers, (hopefully not the sweat shop workers), the packaging designers, the window cleaners, the manikin designers, the cashier… what’s not to love about connecting to all of them and to someone else who originally purchased this, and now you get to take it home, wash it, press it, enjoy it, and add your story. We do after all create our lives (mostly) in clothes.

Read more:

Blog #5  What we wore
Blog #4  I Spy game – what’s in this show
Blog #3  The Linen Closet anatomy of making
Blog #2  Working with Director Robert Post
Blog #1  Five weeks to go

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