• nadine goepfert textile design

    nadine goepfert textile design

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    nadine goepfert textile design 12

  • nadine goepfert textile design 11

    nadine goepfert textile design 11

  • nadine goepfert textile design 10

    nadine goepfert textile design 10

  • nadine goepfert textile design 9

    nadine goepfert textile design 9

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    nadine goepfert textile design 8

  • nadine goepfert textile design 7

    nadine goepfert textile design 7

  • nadine goepfert textile design 6

    nadine goepfert textile design 6

  • nadine goepfert textile design 5

    nadine goepfert textile design 5

  • nadine goepfert textile design 4

    nadine goepfert textile design 4

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    nadine goepfert textile design 3

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    nadine goepfert textile design 2

  • A

    Let’s Talk About This

    07.24.2013 / ARCHIVES

    nadine goepfert textile design 11
    After penning this post, I promptly shut down the computer and padded down the hallway to our guest bedroom, where my “spare” closet exists. Listen, I hate that I even typed those words. It pains me to admit to owning so many articles of clothing that they spill over into multiple rooms, waiting for someday events and “Maybe I’ll need…” and “Whenever I visit…”, all endless justification for my addiction to impulse purchases and indulgent rewards.

    nadine goepfert textile design 10

    I’ll admit – I love being the friend that someone calls when they have a very specific wardrobe dilemma. And I love knowing that I can pack for a conference in less than an hour, pulling pieces from the “events” category, consisting of items I wear maybe twice a year – all much too fussy or non-functional for everyday wear. But what I don’t love is the headspace and energy and wastefulness that surround a closet that is – literally – spilling out of itself. I don’t love the uselessness of it all, the endless combinations of wardrobe options and choices and decisions that we were never created to focus on. Why does it matter?

    nadine goepfert textile design 12

    Part of me is torn. I love the creative expression that comes with styling and mixing and matching. But the other part of me feels hypocritical for wasting more than a minute of time deciding which blouse to wear when there are so many existing without a blouse at all.

    nadine goepfert textile design 9

    I want to donate all of it. Every last item. But if I do, what will keep me from turning around the very next month – when the novelty of a life change has worn off and I’m feeling empty or restless or wanty – and purchasing yet another $20 top I don’t need? How can I make it stick?

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    I’d been contemplating this for a few days, and then the work of Nadine Goepfert stumbled into my inbox. She explores the idea that clothing is little more than a sculptural object, an everyday work of art that shapes and molds and changes as we move throughout our days. And then I read this quote from French theorist Roland Barthes:

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    “What is the essence of a pair of pants (if it has such a thing)? Certainly not that crisp and well-pressed object to be found on department-store racks; rather, that clump of fabric on the floor, negligently dropped there when the boy stepped out of them, careless, lazy, indifferent. The essence of an object has some relation with its destruction: not necessarily what remains after it has been used up, but what is thrown away as being of no use.” 

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    I want to rid myself of the excess – to find a use for the waste – to fulfill the destiny of the object itself and gosh, maybe even remove myself from my relationship with clothing entirely. I want to create a reminder of the life change that I feel might be on the horizon.

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    Any ideas on what I should do with the excess? I’m officially opening the forum and would love to hear. And by the way, if you could comprise a closet with just 10 items, what would a few of them be? Do you guys have weird, fractured relationships with your closets, or am I totally over-thinking this?

    (And don’t worry – I’m fully aware that the answer to the last question is always YES.) Please send help (and maybe cookies).

    Image Credits: Sanna Helena Berger  for Nadine Goepfert

    p.s. The labels we wear.

    • i love this post – thank you for sharing those quotes! I too am trying to figure out my relationship with my wardrobe these days.. after a huge career change, i’ve been streamlining my wardrobe to focus on my favorite items – essentially, creating a uniform. like meagan, my concerns with fast fashion/ethical consumption/waste/etc. lead me to shop more consciously, and i try to buy as much american made clothing as possible. however, i still find myself buying more than i need, and constantly wanting a new addition to my uniform… it’s an ongoing process! i do find that i shop/want less when i’m incredibly busy, so maybe i need to find more projects/volunteer/etc. so that i stop thinking about stuff.

      • Ha – I think that’s a great technique! I know having a baby threw my shopping habit out the window. No more time for meaningless Target runs! :)

    • Thought-provoking post! My 10 items (for summer): 1 pair of capris, 1 pair of shorts, 2 sun dresses, 2 tees, 1 cardigan, 1 white shirt, 1 cotton skirt, 1 pair of sandals.

      For me, clothing is not an area of creative expression; simplifying clothing works for me because it frees up my creative energy for other pursuits that are more meaningful to me. And that I enjoy 100x more. My clothing is fairly minimal and more like a uniform. When it gets too boring, I buy a new scarf or earrings. Woo-hoo! But that’s just me. I can totally see how clothing is something creative and valuable for others, and I don’t judge them for having closets with many more items than mine.

      • I’m always glad to hear non-judgmental tones from those different than the over-stuffed closet club (me!). And thank you for sharing your uniform – love hearing these! :)

    • I too have two closets. I keep all of my Western style wear in one (that is what gets used the most) and my Eastern/traditional style wear in the other. Purging my closet is something I have struggled with a lot. I do not shop much but I can’t seem to pare down what I have. I have outfits that I have had for years and not worn yet because the right occasion hasn’t occurred yet (my more formal Eastern clothes). But they are too beautiful to be given away without wearing at least once. What gets to me even more than having all of this is that this is how many of my friends function as well so I never really thought it was bad. It is just how it is. I am thankful to have so many wonderful things and I am not afraid to admit that I have some materialistic tendencies. It is a part of who I am; and I don’t think it is a bad thing. I am mindful of the bounty and do my best to help those who aren’t as fortunate as me. But, that doesn’t mean I have to give up my two closets.

      As for the ten things I would keep in my closet; that is something I recently had to do while I was pregnant. Buying maternity clothes didn’t appeal to me so I took stock of what I already own and only wore the things that fit me: two pairs of leggings, two skirts, a pair of skinny jeans, two maxi dresses, one knee length dress, a man’s dress shirt, two flowy shirts and three tshirts.

      • I really enjoy hearing your perspective, Tasneem! And yes, pregnancy does call for a certain set of wardrobe revisions, doesn’t it? :)

    • I live in and work from a very small space, and I find any amount of clutter bogs down my creative process – I just need to have clean lines around me. So every new possession added gives me a bit of a pang, and I’ll only buy something if I feel the pleasure of owning and wearing/using is is going to be greater than that pang. As another commenter said, too, as much as I love getting dressed (I’m a jewelry/fashion designer) it’s also a significant creative energy sink.
      Lately I’ve been thinking a good deal about the fact that the work I do is actually creating more Stuff. I’ve moved towards cleaner lines and more functional pieces, but I have a feeling I may be moving on from jewelry soon.
      Thank you for the timely post :)

      • Ah, I can’t wait to hear what lies ahead, Gitti! Thanks for sharing. :)

    • I have the same push and pull with my closet! Actually, closets. I have 3!! (we somehow managed to find an apartment in DC with a ton of closets, so storage space has not been a reason to motivate me to purge) Ugh.

      I think a big reason that I have accumulated so much is because wearing something new or trendy always makes me feel so much more confident than whatever has been in my closet for years. It’s kind of sad and silly, but for someone with social anxiety and a high pressure job, I find it to be an easy way to get that extra confidence boost.

      Anyway, I’ve too been thinking a lot about minimizing. I’d like to live a more portable lifestyle — and I’d rather not have all these unnecessary possessions weigh me down! But also, I like my clothes and don’t want to waste the money I spent on them. So yeah — I’m gridlocked too :P

      • Ha, we’re in the same boat, my dear. What is it about wearing something completely new that just makes us feel great? The interesting thing I’ve noticed is that the item doesn’t have to be NEW, just new to me. Perhaps a closet swap with my girlfriends is in order.

    • I am pretty sure this is a brain costume :p lol

    • Collette

      I have just done a clean-out of my wardrobe using the question: “Would I buy this again now?”…and if I wouldn’t, it goes out! This exercise has really forced me to define my own taste and sensibility, separate out the items that are actually worth keeping, and slow me down when I look longingly at new stuff I don’t need or that aren’t worth the investment. Buy less, and spend more (time and money) is my new mantra! :)

    • Hi Erin (and everyone) – I just finished reading a book that I think is pretty pertinent to this conversation. It’s called “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” by Elizabeth L. Cline. It discusses a variety of topics from the environmental aspects, to working conditions and living wages for apparel workers overseas, to what actually happens with clothing you donate, and on and on. It sounds a little preachy and dry as I write about it here, but it was a fascinating read and will definitely change my shopping habits! I recommend it to everyone!

      • Ooooh, I’ll definitely have it on hold at the library – thank you, Dee!

    • katie

      erin, i just wanted to comment that ever since bee came around / this blog changed it’s course a bit… i’m loving it. your writing is so concise, witty, and fresh. in the ocean of blogs out there, yours have such a refreshing tone. i’d like to compare your blog to the ‘slow food’ movement, while all the other blogs are a little too fast-food for my taste.
      thanks for the good reads. :)

      • Ah, Katie – this is so kind to hear. Thank you so much! It’s been a really great change for me personally, and I’m so thrilled to hear it’s resonating with a few, as well. :) Thank you for the encouragement today!!!

    • susan

      10 things? Assuming that doesn’t include shoes, foundation garments, outerwear, jewelry, belts, scarves and other accessories…

      1. Jeans – dark wash, skinny, hemmed for flats.
      2. Jeans – dark wash, boot cut, hemmed for 2″ heels.
      3. White cotton dress shirt, tailored close to the body.
      4. Wool trousers, black, straight, hemmed for heels.
      5. Wool suit, black, with pencil skirt and 2-button, single-breasted, fitted jacket.
      6. Cashmere long-sleeve v-neck sweater, gray, a bit relaxed, falling below hip.
      7. Leather or denim blazer, fitted, hip-length, burnt orange.
      8. LBD, silk, sleeveless, just-pass-knee-length.
      9. Wrap dress, with geometric print (on navy?) that could be worn with the blazer.
      10. Boho or peasant blouse, some interesting embroidery on teal that could be worn with the blazer.

      Oh no! I could easily add 10 more “must-haves” — and I haven’t even thought about summer! I’ve often fantasized about paring my closet down to just the essentials, the key being that each item would have to fit perfectly and be made to last. But, so far, only a fantasy.

      • I’m right there with you – trying to find the time to pare down and really find the perfect fit (especially with an ever-changing body size, you know?). :)

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