Didem Caia

Suitable for Women For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a man. Not a boy but a man. Growing up I don’t think I really knew what that meant, but there are a collection of moments, a pastiche of images in my mind. Didem in an East-meets-West themed photoshoot for Frankie, 2018 I was born in September in Melbourne, Australia. It was the 90s. My mum estimates that she went into labour at 2:30am on the 29th,Read more

Claire Wellesley-Smith

The Cardigan The cardigan was very basic: black cotton fine knit, long length, buttons, a masculine cut but bought in Top Shop – I wore it for years. Then the pockets developed holes and runs. My line of work, teaching and running long-term textile projects, meant that I often had sharp embroidery scissors on my person, and the blades broke through the knitted threads. Other areas of the cardigan began to unravel. Thin areas on the elbows went to holes,Read more

Anne M Carson

The textile I want to describe is from The Lady and the Unicorn, a series of six 15th Century tapestries considered medieval masterpieces. I found an embroidery version of one of the tapestries in the 1980s; more than 40 years ago. What initially drew me to the embroidery were the rich primary colours: magenta, royal blue, and deep bottle green, as well as the compelling design, featuring a woman on a dais surrounded by animals, and fruiting and flowering trees. It wasRead more

Hanife Melbourne

After 18 months of living in covid-induced slob-gear I’m here to share my clothing memories, adorations, hauntings, and dreams. I have loved reading Textile Message posts from contributing writers and artists and it’s an honour to join them. I am also here to confess that, quite simply, I love clothes. Such a wild statement won’t come as much of a revelation to those friends who have witnessed the ease with which I part with money for yet another piece ofRead more

Susan Bradley Smith

After finishing undergraduate studies in Sydney I spent the 1980s in London as a young journalist. Part of my job involved turning up at formal functions, and one lunchtime my new girlfriend from Yorkshire, Leonie, who worked in the artroom and whose sister was studying fashion took me to Laura Ashley on Kensington High Street where I purchased this balldress, with a tapestry bodice and taffeta skirt. I often wore it with eccentricity, I thought, adding vintage Edwardian lace-up boots andRead more

Leila Lois

Since I can remember, textiles have provoked feelings of comfort, wonderment and desire. Like most children I had a comfort blanket, a cotton sateen pillow, printed with meadow flowers; I would take each smooth, cold corner between my little finger and ring finger until I was lulled to sleep. I cannot remember living in the same house for longer than a year or so until my teenage years, as we regularly relocated for my parents’ careers as a psychiatrist and aRead more

Claire HM

Your favourite piece of clothing? (cw: weight loss) I’ve a clothes-buying confession to make. The things that I love most in my wardrobe are those things that are new. My heart chooses the novel over longevity every time, but my conscience knows that fast fashion is stripping our world of its most vital resources and supports business that ruthlessly exploits the labour of women and children. So to balance my heart and my conscience I choose to buy second-hand. IRead more

Claire Rosslyn Wilson

I don’t normally dress boldly, I prefer the convenience of having an easy-to-match wardrobe, but I have a secret love for loud colours and complex patterns. Perhaps because of this, the textile object that has a fond place in my life is a bright blue mantón de manila, embroidered with flowers and bordered by a long fringe. The mantón de manila emerged from a traditional Philippine shawl, its fabrication was developed in China (due to their tradition of using silk)Read more

Mira Robertson

A piece of clothing that haunts you? The coat was olive green, knee length, and made of hairy wool that gave it a somewhat shaggy appearance. To my current-day eye, stylish and unique, yet back then, the source of humiliation and an object of passionate loathing. 1965. I was eleven and in my first year at boarding school. How, I raged, could she (my mother) have sent me off with such a horror when a camelhair coat was de rigueurRead more