The Envelope, developed in 2001, generates a top, skirt, dress, coat and shelter. Part of the inspiration for the garment arose from a newspaper story that van Kopplen discovered about a group of snowboarders who perished after their gear failed to protect them against the freezing conditions. The tragedy was a catalyst for the designer who sought to create a single pattern template for a textile object with multiple iterations. The resulting design produces clothing as clothing (and clothing as accessories) that can be worn alone or on top of other garments.
The modified rectangular form, that was both pattern and completed garment in one, grew out of her studies of fabric shape and cut and her interest in Japanese designer Issey Miyake’s work A-POC (1999). A-POC; a piece of cloth, is made using an industrial knitting machine programmed by a computer. The process creates continuous tubes of fabric from which customers ‘pop out’ items of clothing exactly to the size desired. For van Kopplen, this is an archetypal form with little need for redesign.
The Envelope 2008
Tyvek 255 recyled content High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), found fabric (1960s) 100% nylon, found object (clear and blue PVC shower curtain), wool/polyester found fabric (installation view)
Photography: Slowlight Images
Courtesy the artist and Craft Victoria