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“Yours Truly” is a new platform to bring together two of my favourite things – sustainable fashion and emerging artists – with an aesthetic influenced by the homespun and folkloric.

 

The website with serve as an online gallery, where up-and-coming artists can promote their work through digital exhibitions, and also as a shop window for my new sustainable clothing brand, also called “Yours Truly”.

 

Inspiration for the platform comes from American folk artists such as R. A. Miller or Howard Finster, whose work took years to be recognized within the established art scene. The online gallery is, I feel, an essential part of any emerging artist’s career (regardless of age), enabling them to gain visibility both at home and internationally without reliance on the traditional gallery system and physical exhibitions. Covid-19 has only accelerated the need for digital solutions in the art world. The idea is that the platform facilitates contact between the viewer and the artist, that the artist gets their work represented as they would like, whether it be painting, sculpture, illustration, video, photography or performance. This could be through stand-alone events (for video screenings and performances, for example), or month-long viewing rooms for static arts.

Eventually, once the digital gallery is more established, we would like to expand into a physical space, where artists will have the opportunity to work and exhibit freely and without restrictions.

 

The clothing brand is be positioned to sit within this environment of friendly collaboration, expressing the same values of free expression and craft. The sustainable and gender-neutral collection has a focus on artist’s smocks. The smock dress – or reform dress, as it is also known – has been worn for centuries by painters, writers and sculptors, male and female alike. It was often home-made, in humble ‘work-wear’ fabrics. We propose it mainly in calico, a fabric noted for its ancient and versatile history, from underwear staple in the 14th century, to women’s printed garments in 18th century England. These days it is mostly known as the fabric that ateliers use to make toiles, prototype garments – fittingly for a brand so focused on the folkloric, democratic and unpolished.

The logo for “Yours Truly” is a button, chosen for its symbolic nature as a connector – the connector between two parts of a garment, whether masculine or feminine. The button will decorate products including one-of-a-kind handkerchiefs, individually created from recycled fabrics.