Monday, July 4, 2011

Grave Fashion

Photo: AFP

Australia's The Age (June 27, 2011) featured Pia Interlandi, a fashion designer to the dead! She reasons that most people spend a lot of time trying to look their best while alive - so why not put a bit more effort into what you'll wear on the journey into the hereafter?

"When it comes to a wedding dres sor a formal dress, every detail is planned and the conversation goes on for hours", said this final year Ph D fashion student. "But the garment that merges with you as you decompose in the ground or the garment that becomes part of your cremated ashes is usually chosen from the closet in a rush".

Last year, as part of her research into the way different materials perform after burial, Interlandi designed special outfits for 21 dead pigs, which she then buried. At internvals of 50 days, she exhumed the pigs in threes to see how they and the clothing had decomposed.

"I'm into the whole natural earth burial movement," she said. "No coffins, no embalming and a relatively shallow grave so the body breaks down quickly. The garments address a whole lot of cultural ideas about protection. We know bodies don't need protection from the cold or the dirt but psychologically, the living need that protection for them".

And next year, she will launch a range of clothes called Garments for the Grave that will be available for dead people. Yay-y-y, I want to be able to pick my own clothes when it is time for me to go!

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