L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Week – Wayward Fold Fashion parade. March 13 2009. LMFF Cultural Program, presented by Living Creatively. March 18 – March 22, 2009. ARM: Level 11, 522 Flinders Lane Melbourne 3000 Australia.

In 2007 Pia began collaborating with fellow student Priscilla Lim. Complimenting each other’s strengths, and with a shared an interest in human biology, they started a fashion label shortly after. ‘Hhhh…’ – pronounced as a single exhalation and sometimes referred to as ‘tidal breath’ aims to create series’ of performative garments that explore poetic transformational processes associated with death, including decomposition, disintegration, haunting, and reincarnation.

The catwalk is one of the most established ‘spaces[1] in which fashion is communicated, specifically as spaces pertain to clothing. It would be an opportunity to demonstrate my garments and their concepts to a live audience, and would necessitate that I had to negotiate a new way to present my dissolvable garments. I decided that I would show the collection under the name of my collaborative label with partner Priscilla Lim. “Hhhh…” is a label under which Priscilla and I show experimental fashions that we established shortly after completing our undergraduate degrees.

Evolving from my work involving the Y-incision garment pattern-cutting and heat manipulation of fibres, I decided that pairing the garments with dissolvable fabrication would be an effective method of communicating ideas of transformation through death. As the garments became saturated with water, elements of the garments would dissolve and reveal concealed panels within the garments. This method would attempt to portray the process of death, and also of decomposition, as something from which beautiful and unexpected things can arise.

-[A]Dressing Death: Fashioning Garments for the Grave

[1] John Potvin, The Places and Spaces of Fashion, 1800-2007 (New York & London: Routledge, 2009).



Photography by: Joel Rees and James Morgan