This work is an examination and deconstruction of patriarchal power in menswear. I often wonder about power. I view menswear as symbolic of power – that maybe somehow the power is inherent in the clothing/costume/uniform. I wonder if the wearer brings the power or if the power is imbued in the clothing. I wonder if power is given or if it must be taken. Is it finite? Power is about influence, access, control, security, confidence, strength, self awareness. It’s authenticity without doubt or fear. Power is individual and institutional. Power is problematic because it is, in general, unevenly distributed. I wonder if it needs to be. If power dynamics/relationships are constructed can’t they be deconstructed? I wonder what would happen if everyone was able to access their power. I think the power is hiding in the seams and edges of the shirts because they hold all the labor and energy of the making. I am interested in finding vestiges of power in menswear, extracting it and reimagining/reforming/redistributing it. I am dismantling the patriarchy one shirt at a time.
© 2019 Winnie van der Rijn