Dress For Our Time, by award-winning artist and designer Helen Storey MBE RDI (London College of Fashion, UAL Centre for Sustainable Fashion) is a unique installation that brings statistics and fashion together to explore one of the world’s most pressing issues. Using innovative technology, the latest data and Helen’s unique voice in fashion, Dress For Our Time will delve into the complex matter of human displacement in a pioneering endeavour to change the social narrative of this complex topic.
The dress itself is a decommissioned refugee tent which once housed a refugee family in Jordan and was gifted to the project by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In giving the tent a meaningful reincarnation as a public installation, Dress For Our Time transcends both data and fashion by humanising the numbers to tell a bigger story.
The UNHCR has logged a record 65.3 million people currently displaced worldwide and 21.3 million refugees*. Dress For Our Time uses the very latest data, representing one year’s worth of UNHCR statistics collected by its Field Information and Coordination Section. This information will be used to visualise the refugee crisis and demonstrate its true human element, through a striking animation that will be projected onto the dress itself using data visualisation developed by Holition. The animation is formed of points of light, each representing one hundred human lives and creatively illustrates the journey each one takes in search of a better life. The lights flow from six points, depicting the continents where the refugees have moved from, before populating the countries in which they find shelter. The image that emerges is not a world map of countries but a map of human migration.
Opening on Thursday 17 August, Dress For Our Time will run alongside the Science Museum’s Our Lives In Data exhibition, which opens on Friday 15 July and investigates the rapidly evolving role of big data in all our lives and how it is being used to transform the world around us.