Garments For The Grave: A Fashion Business That's To Die For
Sometimes the most successful businesses are the ones that really step back and look at what is missing, and take steps to pose a solution. There are many businesses that enter an industry banking on the success of a similar business idea that others are already doing - sometimes well, sometimes not. They hope that some element of their service or approach to the business will give them the edge to make them a front-runner, despite tough competition. While these businesses can be successful, it is the truly novel ideas that can lead to either great success or failure. If a business concept has never been tried before, entrepreneurs are taking a big risk as they don't know how well it will be received by the public after launch. One of the latest to cross our radar is Garments for the Grave, and yes, the business name does accurately describe what they offer, and its clothes are to die for.
The concept of Garments for the Grave was the brainchild of Australian designer Pia Interlandi. She recognized that attire is an important element of burrying rituals, but that typical clothing selected is completely impractical for burial. Stuffy suits that are tailored, and other formal wear tends to be the norm, but there are a number of reasons why such garments just are not practical.
Tight fitting items are a challenge to get on an individual that is no longer in the land of the living, and typical fabrics do not always decompose well. Once the fabrics begin to break down, they are leeching toxins into the soil, making them anything but eco-friendly (of course, whether or not that should be a concern depends upon what an individual is burried in).
Plus, I don't know about you, but if I'm going to be laid in a coffin for centuries, I would like to be as comfortable as possible. But an open casket would make flannel pajamas as inappropriate as wearing them to the grocery store. While I won't say that's never happened, my mother would certainly admonish me if everyone showed up for my final party where I am the guest of honour dressed up, if I too didn't make the effort.
While that last point may appear tongue-in-cheek, the reality is that Pia's designs do take all of the above into consideration. The idea to recreate the norm for post mortem fashion came from attending her own grandfather's funeral. She determined which fabrics would have the least environmental impact by using big carcasses and studying decomposition. From an aesthetic perspective, the garments aren't likely to be everyone's cup of tea as they almost play up society's ideas of what "the living dead" might look like if they were to resurface around Halloween. Body moulds, shrouds, and more are all included under her dissolving garment line.
Her namesake line of post mortem fashion is a bit less shocking. The prototype is beige, and almost looks like a cocoon. There are special items for the hands and feet to go into, and even a purse or satchel-like accessory that personal items can be placed in for burial. She does intend to expand this line, and create an e-commerce store that she hopes will recreate the way society looks at burial fashion traditionally.
Whether it will be a hit or miss as a business concept has yet to be determined, but it is certainly generating buzz and curiosity, so that risk is paying off. If it is accepted as the norm after she has taken such a big risk, however, she might be one of those entrepreneurs that we talk about for centuries - maybe even long after she's gone to her own final resting place in her designs.
Via: NY Daily News