Fashion Statement: Garments for the Grave

by A-Badgero

Pia Interlandi's Garments for the Grave emerged from the unlikely pairing of fashion design and forensics research.

Many questions arise when you begin to think about your own funeral sendoff. Do I want a traditional service or something more elaborate? Who will attend my funeral? What will I wear?

What you wear at your funeral is of great importance to many people; this outfit is one of the last statements you will make to show the world who you really were. People wear clothing much like a second skin that we use to present ourselves to the world in a way that we wish to be perceived. When choosing a ceremonial garment such as a wedding dress every detail is chosen and applied carefully to make sure it will be absolutely perfect on your big day, yet the clothing worn on your last day on Earth is often a last minute choice grabbed from your closet.

Pia Interlandi is an Australian fashion designer who is an advocate for all Natural Earth Burials, no caskets, no embalming and a shallow grave to ensure that things will begin to break down quickly. Using this ideal as her premise for her latest design project, Pia designs garments that are meant to be worn by the deceased but will also provide nutrients to the Earth. People think, because she is a fashion designer, that she wants to make the dead look sexy but that’s not the case. The idea being that as the body decomposes so do the garments clothing it, both will get absorbed into the Earth as one. The clothing is tailored specifically for the individual allowing for meaningful engagement by family members and friends grieving a loss, while still embodying the core values of a natural earth burial.

Pia’s interest in what the dead wear to their grave started when her Nonno passed and she had part in dressing him for his service. She said of her experience, “Instead of it being a scary and morbid experience I realised I been given opportunity to usher this proud, strong and traditional man, who had been stripped of those qualities in his last days and had died in a hospital gown, back into something not only he was more familiar with, but that my Nonna, his wife of 60 years, would remember as the last thing she saw him in.” Pia described her experience as a entirely beautiful honor in which to be a part.

Pia takes design cues from nature using root and grass seeds in her patterns and uses natural materials such as hemp and milk protein in the fabric. She will be launching her clothing line ¬®Garments for the Grave” in 2012.

Read more:

Pia Interlandi

An Interview with Pia Interlandi | The Daily Undertaker

 

 

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