The drawn lines that course across these garments give us a sense of familiarity; the simple act of drawing and shading. One is able to trace the path of a craftsman’s hand backwards and forwards across planes of fabric.
These are Crayola on Tyvek rubbings which record faded lines of writing, sinuous vegetation, trumpets and angels. A distinct aesthetic operates throughout Luke Brooks’ capsule collection of eight looks for AW13. The designs are of their own world and time. But what time?
On closer inspection, we soon see that these rubbings are in fact epigraphs, taken from eighteenth and nineteenth century New England gravestones. There is the realisation that these curious symbols, dates and inscriptions both document the deceased and adorn the living. Gravestone rubbing as an act in itself can be contentious; some may see it as disrespectful to the deceased or worry that stones will become damaged through abrasion over time. It is however a frequent method of documentation used by genealogists and historians.
But are we in a murky realm? Ideas about spirituality, commercialism, reproduction and aesthetics potentially conflict. Do we focus on the aesthetic and design of the garments in isolation or does the item inevitably become imbued with the spirit of the person deceased? Considering that the garment is devoid of someone to wear it, the absence of a wearer draws our attention to the strangers whose deaths are denoted by the clothes. Who were these people that now lie beneath the stones?