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Title: The ambiguity of seamlessness : the poetic function of making
Author: Lee, Yeseung
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 6000
Awarding Body: Royal College of Art
Current Institution: Royal College of Art
Date of Award: 2012
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This practice-led research examines the paradox of seamlessness in fashion, drawing on the similarities found between the process of making garments, the process of their embodiment and process of research. Integrating practical and theoretical methods, it suggests that the process of making and using garments can be a transitional experience, as well as a device that creates ambiguity of subjectivity, which in turn promotes the subject’s reflexive re-adjustment. This analysis informed and was informed by making a series of seamless woven garments which reveal their own construction, showing themselves to be forms in process, representing the ambiguity of modern subjects. Inconsistency and contradiction are intrinsic to fashion: it is both matter and meaning, both cover and display, both imitation and differentiation, but it is always difficult to locate clear demarcation. As a garment-maker, I metaphorically placed this ambiguity at the material level of seams, openings and edges of garments, from which emerged the research question: What is the meaning and function of the seam and seamlessness? My investigation through making garments via hand-woven seaming methods, and my search for an adequate theoretical rendering of the reflections arising from the making, led me beyond the discipline of fashion, to the fields of psychoanalysis, anthropology, sociology and art, literary and cultural theory, from which a series of perspectives are derived. Articulated in this thesis and the accompanying exhibition are thus the process and result of my explorations through making, writing, and theory. The making process involving contact with material is a displacing experience that generates a reflexive value. This demonstrates the ability of garments to test and reset the essential boundary of corporeal subjectivity through the experience of both illusion and reality. Dressing practice is thus the making of the self via repeated reality testing. The poetic function of making thus enables us to generate an authentic knowledge from the experience of oscillating between disparate states. Therefore, together, the seam and seamlessness represent the subject-in-process, and fashion as a particular way of being in this transitional passage. The estranging effect of my hand-woven seams demonstrate this poetic function of making. In the same way, the thesis reveals the seams between practice and theory, and between diverse references, but also their mutually informing relationship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design