Arbeitskleidung – work clothing

Laslo Moholy-Nagy – work suit,

Bauhaus Master,

founder of the New Bauhaus in Chicago,

and a sharp dresser –

I am inspired by his fashioning of work during the 1920’s.

As a young woman, I spent many days studying the collection at the Bauhaus Museum in Weimar Germany.  Weimar is a 20 KM bike ride through the countryside from my home in Apoloda.  By train I have also visited Dessau and Berlin.  Getting to know the concepts of art and manufacture through the museums.
I ask why did Moholy choose to wear this uniform?

Is he wearing the uniform as a method of creating an identity integrating art and manufacture?

In the garment factory I wore a uniform; it was functional, and protected me from the oil, dirt and grime of the factory.

I connect with the history of the Bauhaus and my history as a garment worker by wearing a uniform, in my new life, as a textile activist.

The work wear must commemorate my comrades of the weaving mills, shoe and garment factories 

The work wear must be functional for wearing at my sewing machine / or when organizing demonstrations and synchronized sewing.

The work trouser, my first work wear attempt after arriving to Chicago in August of 2006 – I Followed my beloved Bauhaus, weavers and architectures.

I set up shop, and produced my Work Trousers – Hand dyed indigo, woven on a 8 harness loom, copied from US military trousers and Irish work wear pockets, sewn on a singer industrial machine and machine  embroidered.

with my first “logo” TEXTILE WORKER.  I found the trousers uncomfortable, hot, and heavy.  The dresses I worn in the factory were more comfortable.

The Princess line dress work wear – reminiscent of dresses worn during the former times, it is ideal for sitting at a sewing machine 8- 12 hours a day, moving on a factory floor, the skirt provides a freedom in movement, and with the addition of pockets the dress is  very functional, and flattering for those moments when I pause from my work for a photograph.

I continued using the princess line dress, when I travel to Haiti to instigate Made in Haiti.
I saved discarded shirtsleeves from the landfill, used “slow piece work“ productions methods, this dress required 8 hours a production time, and was reminiscent of crazy quilts. 

The work wear I produced, allowed me to embody Made in Haiti, which attempts to create sustainable, honorably paid, garment and textile production in Haiti. Made in Haiti, employees, Jonas La Baze, Tailor and three, Port Au Prince artist Junior and Claudel Casseus and Londel Ynnocent. We use Pepe (second hand clothing imported into Haiti from the United States) as a natural textile resource, repurposing it, and transforming the garments into fantastically, shabby couture apparel, and accessories.

The Revolution textiles work wear – commemorates young women mill workers in Greensboro NC, These independent 1920’s women, the long skirt and long sleeves, which  would get caught in the machines were eliminated, and replaced with bloomers, and short sleeves, for comfort and safety.

During my time in NC I had the honor to toured Cone mills, the leading supplier of denim to Levis Strauss, designer jeans. During the tour I met Millie a textile commerade, who has been a loom fixer at Cone for over 50 years.  Millie told me she has stayed at work so love, because she loves to weave!


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One thought on “Arbeitskleidung – work clothing

  1. Awesome! Before Moholy-Nagy introduced his jumpsuits at the school, his predecessor Johannes Itten advocated monks robes… that doesn’t seem very practical!
    PS: I just discovered your blog and I am very impressed – I think raising the awareness of production processes in fashion (in design in general) is a crucial task, and I wish you the best for the future.

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