'Three Coats' by Siv Støldal and Ruth Hogben, at SHOWstudio
AW 2008-09 / Three Wardrobes
SS 2008 / High Visibility
AW 2007-08 / Cover Up
SS 2007 / Camouflage
AW 2006-07 / Seasonal/Effective/Disorder
SS 2006 / Sportswear
AW 2005-06 / Dress Up/Down
SS 2005 / Outside/In
AW 2004-05 / Disguise
AW 2003-04 / Trace
Having observed and researched those clothes typically worn in Tyssøy, in the Norwegian countryside, and also in the slightly less picturesque Three Colts Lane area of East London, Siv Støldal subsequently compared and contrasted the various photographs, videos and notes she had made. She was struck by how these two wildly different locations dictated extremely different types of dressing. Støldal then decided to take her findings back to these two specific environments, and physically COVER UP the actual landscapes with garments from her Autumn/Winter 07/8 Men’s collection.
Hence, a few weeks ago passers by on the aforementioned Three Colts Lane (home to Støldal’s studio) were left flummoxed by the sight of 300 of her latest designs covering up the entire exterior of the building. The clothes remained there throughout the day, flapping gently in the Bethnal Green breeze. Next stop is a mountain in Norway, which later this month also gets the full-on COVER UP treatment; proving that mountains can look fashionable, too, given the chance.
This whole process will be filmed before, during and after – with a web presence being specifically established to document this, and future COVER UP installations. Indeed, shops which stock the collection will be invited to COVER UP their buildings, and add photographs of their efforts to the online project. Likewise, any customers investing in a Støldal garment should feel free to do the same.
As for the collection itself - look for many pleasing contrasts and things-not-being-quite-what-they-seem. Jackets and coats are reversible, one side in wool, the other in rainproof nylon or oilskin. A Tent Coat in oilskin has been created so it can be buttoned together with any of its Tent Coat contemporaries. (So, if you have friends with the same coat, you can all get together and make different tents…). Some shirts come helpfully printed with diagrams of how to make the tents – whether for five, eight or twelve people; others are multi-pocketed, with large check patterns complimenting the digital prints of a pixilated mountain landscape (the very same mountain about to undergo a COVER UP makeover). Trousers with oilskin fronts and cord backs feature contrasting waistbands, in the same check as the shirts; jeans incorporate a nylon layer from the thigh down. Hand made knits boast a chunky chain cable running down the front, while nylon suit jackets and macks further compete to well and truly COVER you UP.