How are people dressing when in lockdown and isolation situations? How is this different to the way they dressed before? Has it affected their sense of self? This project aims to shine a light on those changes and reveal some of the many and varied personal stories relating to fashion and dress in 2020. Today’s interview is with Clodagh Deegan, a Costume Designer working in film and theatre, based in Dublin.
1) What is your daily routine for getting dressed to remain at home? If you don’t have one, why is that?
I work freelance, and sometimes from home, so there have been many times in my working life I’ve been fairly housebound. In those times I’ve often stayed in my dressing gown until I absolutely have to go out. I’d go straight from breakfast to desk, and only shower and change around lunchtime or when I have to go out to buy food. This time, however, I’ve been more about getting dressed. Sometimes I will be dressed, as in wearing clothes, but mostly I am dressed. I don’t get dressed immediately I get up, I like to potter for a while, but I’m normally dressed by about 10.
2) Has your approach to fashion and style changed as a result of the current situation?
I feel I should be more truthful, somehow, in how I dress. I think I often err on the side of caution normally but I’m more likely now to play or experiment with my silhouette. I mean, we’re dealing in very narrow margins here, and I’m not going to buy myself anything new, but the spirit of how I dressed has shifted.
3) Thinking back through what you have worn since you’ve been staying at home, what has been your favourite item of clothing and why?
It’s hard to narrow it down. I’ve really enjoyed wearing things I’ve made myself because I guess I already feel very invested in them, but I’ve also really enjoyed wearing a pair of raw denim jeans because they provide a structure and a neatness I find just as comforting.
4) What’s your shoe situation at home? And how does this affect your sense of self?
I am more likely to wear pretty shoes (and socks) now, and all those hundred weeks ago when this first happened it felt vital. I guess in the same way that sales of red lipstick apparently boom in times of crisis, I stick on my best shoes. I am, usually, a shoe-wearer at home. I have occasionally worn socks and Birkenstocks, which is amazingly comfortable and I will be bringing this to my normal life when my normal life resumes, but after a few days of it I missed the structure of a normal, female shoe. Yesterday my face was inflamed from an allergy and I wore heeled boots. I only realised what I’d done when someone called to the house wearing Crocs-looking things.
5) Has your self-perception changed in isolation? How so?
I feel very much like myself. I feel like this has distilled me somehow, and I remind myself very much of myself as a child in the ’70’s; knitting, reading, mooching about, slightly but not really bored.
If you’d like to take part in the project yourself, you can find all the information you need in the blog post entitled ‘Lockdown Fashion: an exploration of dressing at home in 2020‘ dated 9th April 2020.