Photos By Yasmine Steele
Through the needles eyes is a photographic series that explores the stark contrast between handmade clothing and fast fashion. Fast fashion companies mass produce clothes every year and most of them go to waste because clothing styles are constantly changing due to seasonal trends. The plastic wrap in the photos serve as a representation of the public being consumed by wasteful behavior and wrapped around the influences of micro trends. People are often blind to the harmful effects of fast fashion companies because they get caught up in a cycle of consumerism.
There is a certain authenticity to handmade clothing because not only are designers hand crafting their own garments, but they are also allowing themselves to express the inner workings of their mind. Fashion is a very bold medium and people are able to push many boundaries when experimenting with different couture techniques. As a result, it has greatly shifted mass culture today and influenced social trends. If you are interested in learning more about the authenticity of handmade clothing, keep reading to discover William Hohe’s perspective on his crafted clothing pieces.
Materials: recycled jean, patches, motorcycle helmet, fabric glue, sewing thread, buckles, rubber gloves, spray paint
Description: Bowery (2022) is a fully second hand made jean jumpsuit/poncho combo that features a motorcycle helmet covered in a similar patchwork, quilt style pattern. This piece is inspired by the iconic, club kid Leigh Bowery whose club outfits and campy sense of style were famous during the 80s and early 90s. Bowery was a performer and this outfit is a nod to a look of his that draws a parallel to the performance of gender. The wearer is completely covered in this overtly masculine fabric but yet is painted orange and straps on go-go boots. Bowery’s ability to both highlight himself through fashion while concealing gender and appearing androgynous in the process has always fascinated me. I wanted to create a look that paid image to the genderless spirit of Bowery but in a sustainable, circular way.
Materials: second hand red fabric, nylon dress fabric, kitchen table cover, crochet yarn, sewing thread.
Description: The Horn of Savage Beauty (2022) takes inspiration from Lee Alexander McQueen, the late designer and artistic genius whose performance-based runway shows and elaborate designs shocked and stunned audiences throughout his short but meaningful life. I’ve always loved McQueen’s work and wanted to take inspiration from his show The Horn of Plenty as well as Joan. Using the color red and a smorgasbord of fabrics found at thrift and vintage stores, this dress is quintessential McQueen-inspiration, with crazy hair and makeup and a dress that resembles amber flames when the model graces the runway.
Materials: found wedding dress, playing cards, Mardi Gras necklaces, red yarn, fabric glue, sewing thread, found photographs, 35mm film, jewel adornments, Christmas lights.
Description: Bride (2022) is a dress dedicated to my mother and her “marriage” to photographically capturing my life in photo albums. I am not from an artistic family directly, but I credit my mother’s incessant archival work and ability to take photographs and transmit those meticulously into photo albums as my inspiration and desire to become a photographer, to manipulate and categorize my memories photographically. This dress is made from a found wedding dress that has been styled and designed to light up. It features found object photographs, playing cards, and miscellaneous other tokens of minute, but nostalgic, importance sewn together through a red yarn. This dress showcases and calls to mind my mom’s devotion to the making and capturing of memories throughout her life and her “marriage” to this practice. Even through my parents’ tumultuous divorce and the death of my childhood, my mother’s hobbyist practice continued as a euphemism for presentness and the validity of memory, or lack thereof.