MA Studies > Fashion communication > Fashion communication alumnus > Helen Gras

Helen Gras


The human face is a whole cluster of faces, crowded together but on different planes so that one does not see them all at once.
Marcel Proust, 1919

When we dress ourselves, who do we dress? Which piece of clothing stands for what we want to represent in that moment in time?
As half of a whole twin I based my research topic identity and reality in fashion on my own experience. My own experience in being a twin and the relationship with my twin sister. After looking in to the topic twins I found that the relationship between twins and the way they develop have a lot in common with the way singletons develop and stand in todays fashion world. I want to use the relationship between twins to be as a metaphor for this. The tension in such a close bond is something seen in various ways in how people regard about fashion:

"Fashion obtains its enormous strength because it makes every person be perceived as unique being, even when the people who follow the latest fashion trends are dressed in more or less the same way. The deep need to be unique and the deep need to be part of a group are fulfilled simultaneously in fashion. While fashion manipulates people to take part of a certain mainstream (trend) it in fact guides them to adapt to a social norm. But this fashion norm also creates the opposite: the need to take distance of this norm or at least dissociate from this norm. They want to be part of the group but be perceived as an individual.
" From Eric de Kuijper.
This is also known as a double bind: Can't live with, can't live without it. This is very typical in the twin relationship.

When you look into the mirror, you will see your reflection. Twins that are mirrored in their genes look at each other and see a reflection of themselves. Now what if you yourself stand for self and the mirrored reflection stands for alter ego, then what you project, would actually be a reflection of what you want to be. But don't you hold more then one ideal of what you want to be? And why do you want to be what it is that you project? With what else do we identify?

Who am I more but us?