Begic drew on her upbringing in former communist Yugoslavia to design the garments, which include denim overalls, dungarees and belted tunics.
The following information is from Londonewcastle Depot:
Comradettes is a clothing project inspired by socialist work culture. Created by artist and designer Eldina Begic, its aim is to shift the perception of manual workers and production in society. Comradettes encourages people to take pride in utility clothing, questioning our aspirations and value systems. Drawing on Constructivist ideas, Begic describes her clothing as “Productivist worksuits”.
Comradettes rejects the fashion industry’s appropriation of workwear, such as denim jeans, as a form of luxury. Instead, workwear is presented as a means towards a sense of solidarity and community, challenging the endless expression of individuality through one’s clothes.
Comradettes celebrates the attitude of the uniform, and reprises the idea that clothing can reflect an ideology.
While traditionally workwear has been designed for men – with women’s workwear being simply a scaled-down version – Comradettes is specifically designed for women.
Comradettes launches on 22 June with an exhibition of the clothing in an ex-industrial hangar, the Londonewcastle Depot, in London. All the clothes are tailored, and will be available to purchase.
Eldina Begic was born in Sarajevo in 1976. Known as a conceptual artist in her homeland, she moved to London in 2000. She studied art at Saint Martins and design at the Royal College of Art, and has worked for a number of high profile clients in the design industry.
Comradettes began as a research project investigating worker’s clothing in Eastern Europe and South America, and draws heavily on her memories of growing up in Communist former Yugoslavia.
Londonewcastle Depot is an exhibition space created by property brand Londonewcastle in a former warehouse between Hoxton and Islington as a platform for creatives, artists, and local talent to display their work and further their practice. The space is donated to users who might not otherwise have the opportunity to show their work and forms part of the ongoing local cultural discourse.
Comradettes Exhibition 23–26 June 2011, 11.00–18.00
The Londonewcastle Depot 1–3 Wenlock Road
London N1 7SL