The inspiration for photographer Ida Taavitsainen‘s latest project is something that those who love digging out vintage clothing from second hand stores may identify with. Taavitsainen inherited a tweed suit from her grandmother, but it was seeing a photograph of her late relative wearing the garments that really awakened her connection to it, and got the Helsinki-born artist thinking about the stories behind the other hand-me-downs in her wardrobe.
The act of wearing second-hand clothes forged a link with their previous owners that spanned generations, bringing Taavitsainen closer to relatives who in some cases she had never met or known anything about. Coming into direct physical contact with their clothes gave the Royal College of Art graduate an idea of how their bodies looked and felt, and gave rise to the recently published photographic series The Memory of My Wardrobe. As well as expressing the essence of a tenuous familial bond, the photographs exhibit a slightly melancholy, even eerie quality, and also succeed as a fashion history. The hardback volume, designed by Sean Murphy, is available from publishers Booth-Clibborn Editions.