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MADE IN AUSTRALIA.

EARLIER THIS YEAR HONEST BY’S CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER BRUNO PIETERS PARTNERED WITH ONE OF THE TOP 10 FASHION SCHOOLS IN THE WORLD, THE ROYAL MELBOURNE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. THE RESULT WAS A UNIQUE WORKSHOP ABOUT THE EXPLORATION OF NEW FASHION PRACTICES THAT WORK WITH THE NATURAL CYCLE OF GROWTH, AND AGAINST NOTIONS OF MASS MARKETING. WE SELECTED AND PHOTOGRAPHED THE WORK OF 6 RMIT STUDENTS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE WORKSHOP. THEY RECYCLED AND REUSED VINTAGE CLOTHING AND SECOND HAND MATERIALS AND TURNED THEM INTO INTRIGUING NEW SILHOUETTES. ONE OF THEM, JESS SANSUM, BECAME A FFDS WINNER! 
DISCOVER HER WORK AND THE WORK OF HER FELLOW STUDENTS IN THE FOLLOWING EDITORIAL BY BRUNO PIETERS.
READ BRUNO PIETERS' INTERVIEW WITH JESS SANSUM HERE BELOW.


BP. WHAT WAS THE CONCEPT BEHIND THE PIECES YOU CREATED?
JS. I WAS EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITY OF A THERE BEING A PRODUCTION FORMULA FOR THE DESIGN AND MAKING PROCESS OF GARMENTS, THAT WHEN IMPLEMENTED, WOULD ACT TO GUARANTEE OBJECT LONGEVITY AND HOLISTICALLY ADDRESS PRECONCEIVED SYSTEMS OF VALUE.

BP. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT RECYCLING?
JS. I NEVER KNOW WHAT I AM GOING TO FIND AND THAT IS BEYOND EXCITING FOR ME! I ALSO GET A LOT OF MY INSPIRATION FROM THE INVESTIGATION AND DECONSTRUCTION OF FULLY REALISED FORMS, WHETHER IT BE SHAPES ON AND OFF THE BODY, CONSTRUCTION METHODS, STANDARDISED ARCHETYPES AND GARMENT CODES OR EVEN WHAT CAN BE DISCOVERED AND MANIPULATED THROUGH THE ANALYSIS OF THE BRANDING AND THE IDENTITY OF THE FORM. I ALSO FIND THIS APPROACH TO BE UNIQUE AND REWARDING, AS IT ENABLES AN INTIMATE AND PERSONAL INTERACTION WITH THE FOUND OBJECTS. EVERYONE IS TAILORED BY THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES AND THUS EACH INDIVIDUAL WILL RESPOND DIFFERENTLY, WHICH IS A BEAUTIFULLY POETIC EXPRESSION IN ITSELF.

BP. WILL YOU USE RECYCLING IN YOUR FUTURE COLLECTIONS?
JS. YES! I HAVE EVEN BEEN DOING A LOT OF RECYCLING IN MY CURRENT HONOURS PROJECT. I JUST FIND THAT IT HAS BECOME SUCH A SIGNIFICANT ELEMENT OF MY MAKING PROCESS, AS WELL AS SO STRONGLY RESONATING WITH MY PHILOSOPHIES AND RESEARCH INTERESTS, THAT I DON’T SEE MYSELF USING OTHER MATERIALITIES ANY TIME SOON. IT IS ALSO A GREAT WAY FOR ME TO AVOID DRAWING, WHICH I CANNOT STAND!

BP. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT FASHION?
JS. I AM FASCINATED THAT FASHION CONSTANTLY CHANGES, WHILST REMAINING ESSENTIALLY THE SAME, IN SO FAR AS THERE ARE GLOBALLY RECOGNISED, STANDARDISED IDEALS OF WHAT A PAIR OF JEANS IS, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT BREAK ALL BARRIERS OF CLASSIFICATION. I FEEL THAT FASHION CAN THEREFORE BE UTILISED AS AN EXTREMELY POWERFUL PLATFORM FOR THE COMMUNICATION AND DISSEMINATION OF IDEAS. ESPECIALLY WITH THE INTERNET, FASHION IS GLOBALLY FAMILIAR AND ACCESSIBLE AND I LOVE THAT.

BP. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE FASHION INDUSTRY TODAY?
JS. I THINK IT IS A BIT OF A MESS IN THAT IT HASN’T QUITE FIGURED OUT HOW TO DEAL WITH THE INFLUX OF NEW DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES JUST YET. FASHION THRIVES ON THE SPEED OF CHANGE WHICH IN THEORY, IS IDEAL FOR THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT OF THE INTERNET, HOWEVER IN PRACTICE IT HAS INCREASED THE PRESSURE ON DESIGNER’S, ESPECIALLY AT THE HIGH END, TO INCREASE THEIR OUTPUT, KEEPING UP WITH THE DEMAND FOR THE CONSTANTLY NEW. WE CAN SEE RESULTS OF THIS THROUGH THE INTRODUCTION OF THE FAST FASHION BUSINESS MODEL AND THE PRECARIOUSNESS AND INSTABILITY OF THE HEAD DESIGNERS AT HIGH END FASHION HOUSES. THERE HAS ALSO BEEN A REBELLION, FROM BRANDS AND DESIGNERS, TOWARD THE FASHION SCHEDULE AS SEASON-LESS COLLECTIONS AND OFF SCHEDULE RELEASES OF WORK ARE BEGINNING TO MORE STRONGLY EMERGE. I GUESS YOU CAN LOOK AT THE EVOLUTION OF ART PRACTICES AND THE PREVALENCE OF THE DIGITAL ARTIST AS REFERENCE AND HOW FASHION, PARTICULARLY HIGH END, CANNOT YET BE MANIPULATED INTO A SIMILAR FRAMEWORK THAT CATERS FOR THIS INCREASED DESIRABILITY FOR TRANSPARENCY, AUTHENTICITY AND CONSTANT OUTPUT. THERE IS ALSO THE CONCERN OF THE MENTAL EFFECTS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS HYPER-PRODUCTION OF WORK DUE TO THE INABILITY TO ACCOUNT FOR THE COGNITIVE LABOR INVOLVED, WHICH ARGUABLY, IS WHAT INCREASES THE VALUE OF THE OBJECTS, CREATED THROUGH THE EMOTIONAL AND PERSONAL ELEMENTS OF THE DESIGN PROCESS. 

BP. HOW GREEN ARE YOU IN YOUR OWN LIFE?
JS. THE MORE EDUCATED I BECOME, THE MORE GREEN MY LIFESTYLE AND PHILOSOPHIES BECOME, WHICH I HOPE WOULD BE TRUE FOR EVERYONE. I WAS ALSO BROUGHT UP ON THE IDEA OF QUALITY OVER QUANTITY AND HAVE FOUND THIS STRONGLY RELATES TO THE EMOTIONS WE ATTACH TO OUR POSSESSIONS, WHICH IS A HUGE FACTOR WHEN IT COMES TO WASTE AND SUSTAINABILITY. IT MAKES PEOPLE LESS LIKELY TO HAPHAZARDLY DISCARD THINGS, TRANSCENDING THE OVERARCHING DESIRE FOR NEWNESS. 

BP. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW? 
JS. RIGHT NOW I AM WORKING ON MY HONOURS PROJECT AND THESIS, WHICH IS STILL RATHER UNREFINED AT THIS STAGE, HOWEVER I HAVE IDENTIFIED A TRANSITION IN THE CONSUMPTION OF IDENTITY. I BELIEVE THAT THE WAYS IN WHICH WE USED TO CONSUME THE IDENTITY OF TECHNOLOGY INTO OUR OWN IDENTITIES HAS NOW TRANSITIONED TO THE POINT THAT TECHNOLOGY IS NOW CONSUMING OUR IDENTITIES AND PSYCHE, WHICH NOT ONLY ACTS TO EXPLAIN THE INCREASED DESIRABILITY FOR NEWNESS BUT ALSO THE EFFECTS OF COGNITIVE LABOUR MENTIONED EARLIER AND IDEA THAT WE ARE SO WHOLEHEARTEDLY IMMERSED IN MODERN TECHNOLOGIES THAT THEY HAVE BECOME AN EXTENSION OF THE SELF.
OTHER AREAS I AM RESEARCHING INVOLVE ADAPTATIONS OF LIQUID MODERNITY, TO INCORPORATE THE SELF, AS THE DIGITAL AGE SEES INDIVIDUALS CONSTANTLY RE-INVENTING THEIR IDENTITIES. THE MENTAL EFFECTS OF THIS IDENTITY FLUX IS ANOTHER CONCERN OF MY RESEARCH AND ALSO ITS RELATION TO COGNITIVE LABOUR, INDIFFERENCE AND FATIGUE. SO FAR I HAVE DEDICATED TO EXPLORING THESE CONCEPTS UNDER THE DISCIPLINE OF FILM, UTILISING OBSOLETE AND NON-RECYCLABLE ANALOGUE FILM TECHNOLOGY, SUCH AS VHS TAPE AND VCR’S, AS THE MATERIALITY AND INSPIRATION FOR THE PHYSICAL OUTCOMES.

BP. THANK YOU FOR THIS INTERVIEW AND CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING A FFDS! 
JS. THANK YOU!!! THIS OPPORTUNITY AND ENGAGEMENT HAS BEEN INVALUABLE TOWARD THE PROGRESSION OF MY CONCEPTS, PHILOSOPHIES AND PRACTICE. 

THANK YOU KATE SALA, ALL THE STUDENTS AND EVERYONE FROM THE RMIT FOR INVITING ME TO TAKE PART IN THIS PROJECT. IT WAS A TRUE HONOUR AND PLEASURE TO WORK WITH ALL OF YOU.
BRUNO PIETERS