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‘The Tree of Life’ video filmed by Jeremy Debattista at Bir Miftuh
The Tree of Life explores the cultural status of art objects and architecture, tackling the inevitable mausoleumification of cultural sites through the design and creation of a fashion collection and its presentation in the form of an online event. It was a nostalgic reworking of the heavily damaged, latent medieval wall painting and decoration of the location which inspires the collection, the Chapel of Bir Miftuh. Having recently undergone conservation and restoration, the project feeds off the state of in-betweenness that the chapel finds itself in. In a sense, it is a manifestation of the liminal moment between states of being and preservation, and above all else, an exploration of fragments and their relevance in contemporary art and culture.

Heavily inspired by the historical changes to the architecture of the chapel, as well as the garments worn by the chapel’s patrons in their wall-painted portraits, this collection of thirty-two looks was presented not as one of garments, but of artefacts undergoing maintenance and only surviving in fragmented states. This commentary on the journey and the process is a movement away from the glamorous ‘end result’ fashion sometimes is associated with; one which often disregards all processes.

The collection sees the moment of incompleteness of the frescoes as a moment of life in an otherwise frozen-like state architectural ruins generally find themselves in - permanently on hold, frozen in time, and ultimately dead.

Being a sustainable couture brand, the collection presented is trans-seasonal, which means that the garments do away with seasonal bearings. Moreover, the garments also offer a crossover between couture and ready-to-wear, a comment on the status of wearable art pieces and their dissemination.