As part of our Characteristics feature, we asked BEATE GODAGER to pick a piece from her latest collection Disembodied, something that she feels represents her as a designer and tell us the story behind it. She chose this transparent jacket. Through developing a range of clothing that highlights very nude, transparent, and skin like materials, she is questioning where the line between the skin and clothing lies, and challenges the idea of how much or how little we require from the garments before we perceive them as wearable and functional. With her clothes, she seeks to challenge our view on clothing and how the body underneath is read. The transparent jacket she chose represents this through its simple, yet thought provoking design.
In a time where the female body is in constant debate, the need to challenge the discourse concerning this topic also translate into the discussion of garments, and aesthetic expression. But is it acceptable that the woman’s body is discussed as an object? Is it not her body and her decision how and what she chooses to wear? The collection the jacket is taken from is inspired by the discourse of society regarding the appropriate time and space for the female body to be exposed, the choice of attire, and how one's garments are a form of communication. The commercial part of the collection is developed from lightweight neoprene, sheer transparent materials, and denim. The choice of transparent materials gives the customer the opportunity to create her own personalized look, and also allows the freedom of layering the forms, something that the transparent jacket underlines. The way women choose to express themselves aesthetically is a way to challenge the way they are perceived. By playing around with different materials, layers and levels of exposure clothes become a tool for challenging the way that we talk about the female body. But what then, does this play with transparency in this jacket mean for Godager herself?
«The jacket represents my design well at this stage of time because of the visible seams and the transparency. I always find it interesting to work with transparency; it gives more freedom of expression and makes the garment more versatile. Visible seams, placed on the outside, often define the shape and form of my design and this is even more distinct in this particular style because of the see-through material. The boxer back sleeve cut comes from the shape of the shoulder blades, but naturally turns into a sportier look, when used in a jacket with volume.» Godager says.
When it comes down to the execution and technique used in creating this piece Godager answers that it’s «A mix of classical pattern making and draping, was used to technically execute this jacket. Most of the time this is how I work. I make a basic twill, with the right volume and fit. Then draw in the new lines and translate them to the pattern again, The sewing technique is different according to what pieces that are sewn together first to make the bias tape cover up in the right places, and since seams are visible on the outside and overlapping front to back.» Continuing the focus on materials and transparency Godager explains that it’s a polyester organdie, cotton rib, and cotton bias tape. «My goal was to find recycled polyester, for example, made from plastic bottles, but unfortunately, I have not been able to find a recycled polyester that is transparent. In many cases the organic or sustainable fabrics available, also have a high meter minimum – which sadly excludes the smaller brands that want to take responsibility, and work with sustainable materials,» she adds.
The huge focus on the discourse concerning women in society today highlights the need for designers to challenge the way that we perceive femininity. Giving women the opportunity to express themselves through different fabrics and materials, cuts, and transparency, and different aesthetic ideals create a platform where they can play with perception, ideals and ideas about femininity, and designers like Godager are contributing to this.
Photographer Christiane Helsted Juul
Make-up Yunah Radecker
Model Josefine Justesen
Stylist Nanna Rosenfeldt-Olsen