The Uniform Project  JUN 10 2009

For The Uniform Project, Sheena Matheiken is wearing the same dress every day for an entire year. Each day, she "reinvents the dress with layers, accessories and all kinds of accouterments".

How do you design a dress that can be worn all year around? The mastermind behind the uniform dress is my friend and designer, Eliza Starbuck. We took inspiration from one of my staple dresses, improving upon the shape and fit to add on some seasonal versatility. The dress is designed so it can be worn both ways, front and back, and also as an open tunic. It's made from a durable, breathable cotton, good for New York summers and good for layering in cooler seasons. With deep hidden pockets to appease my deep aversion for carrying purses.

Looking through the photos so far, you can see how versatile the dress is and how clever Matheiken is in accessorizing it. (via ben fry)

Update: Alex Martin did a similar project back in 2005 called Brown Dress.

So, here's the deal -- I made this dress and I wore it every day for a year. I made one small, personal attempt to confront consumerism by refusing to change my dress for 365 days. In this performance, I challenged myself to reject the economic system that pushes over-consumption, and the bill of goods that has been sold, especially to women, about what makes a person good, attractive and interesting. Clothes are a big part of this image, and the expectation in time, effort, and financial investment is immense.

From 1991-2002 as part of her A-Z Uniforms project, Andrea Zittel made herself a new dress and wore it for six straight months.

Because I was tired of the tyranny of constant variety, I began a six-month uniform project. Starting in 1991 I would design and make one perfect dress for each season, and would then wear that dress every day for six months. Although utilitarian in principle, I often found that there was a strong element of fantasy or emotional need invested in each season's design. The experiment as a whole worked quite well, especially since dreaming up the next season's design helped relieve any monotony that might have occurred from wearing the same dress every day.

Some of Zittel's dresses are pictured here. Has The Onion done a piece about the guy in marketing's art piece where he wears brown khakis and a blue button-down shirt everyday for 20 years? (thx, jon & amanda)

Read more posts on kottke.org about:
fashion   Sheena Matheiken

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