Inspired by the enticing yet perilous lives spies carry on the big screen, as well as how crude and mysterious espionage really is, I created transformable garments to convey the change of identities that spies have required for their job, on and off-screen.
I wanted to talk about two subjects that seem completely different but that are actually connected in many ways. Both espionage and identity share a common ground: clothing. I noticed this in the way Sydney, from tv-show Alias, changes her identity in order to fulfill her duties. Her varied transformations are a reflection of the real modifications spies endure in their job and clothing is the key to do so; it is the resource spies and ordinary people share in order to function in society. I needed to portray the construction of the identity of spies to question the possibility of change.
When I came across a piece of information that talked about the CIA’s financial problems to create new technologies during the 90s, I decided to create a story for the collection’s narrative. I was inspired by real cases from World War II, the Cold War and the 90s youth and pop culture. I began to explore different ways to transform one garment to another by pattern making and fabric manipulation, and soon “When They(?) Went Back To Save The World” came to life.
The collection questions the concept of identity through the story of a spy in a mission to save the world. This story is a reflection of the change that we see in certain garments, the transformation from one alias to another, and the elements that surround the spy in the past, when he/she becomes the subject of change and the bearer of fictitious identities conditioned to a hidden and dangerous truth. These exist in a certain reality, but who are they? When and where does the line of pretending stops?
The collection has one garment in each look that can be easily transformed into another one with the use of different zippers, straps and buckles. I had to think like a spy in order to make each transformation functional and hiding the clothes like a secret became my formula. Each of these garments purpose is to change the appearance of the look as a whole by maintaining the same identity and hiding a piece of clothing that can be worn over the initial garment. In addition, the story I made for the collection goes hand in hand with how the garments are constructed and therefore, it guided me into figuring out how each of the transformations were going to be.