We stitch our clothes as a second skin to overlay our bodies with claims of identity, to message social, spiritual and political allegiance. In many traditional cultures the patterns and colours of peoples' clothes indicated their geographic origin, their marital status, their position in society: village by village, family by family marking out difference and registering kinship. The oppression of a society often brings with it the enforced ban of traditional dress, to silence its sewn visual language of heritage, of belonging, of solidarity. In revolutionary times new forms of dress are fashioned to voice a new order of community values.
Identity Crisis was a project which involved seven unemployed young people in devising a fashion collection made from fabric they designed and printed, all inspired by Glasgow, the city where they lived. Their creations had wit, nostalgia and originality. An Irn Bru suit (Scotland's national soft drink) was made from bright orange corduroy, its collar appliquéd with the brand's iconic label; a retro jump suit mimicked the old fashioned wrap-round aprons of Glasgow's working women. It was printed with a cartoon of cigarette dangling gossips, their speech balloons purposefully empty to give the purchaser the chance to fill in their own banter; the city's evening paper was celebrated in a dress with swirled panels for its skirt while the skirt of Glasgow by Night dress was circled with a silhouette of the city skyline at night outlined on a netted sunset .