Harmony Hood in indigo | Wool lined in silk hair shirt print | $208
Alban Cloak in indigo | Wool lined in silk hair shirt print | $489
Agnes Dress | Wool/nylon chiffon, black velvet, dark grey flannel lining | $412
Photo Julia Sherman
This beautiful collection is the result of collaboration between fashion label JF & SON and New York-based artist Julia Sherman. Together they created a wardrobe for a small order of Anglican sisters in Virginia, the Mother Mary Magdalene of the Sisters of The Community of Compassion.
Julia Sherman spent 6 months working with JF & SON and Mother Mary Magdalene to design and manufacture vestments for the nuns. Make no mistake, it may be conceptual fashion but it also had to function as everyday wear for Mother Mary and her order. Luckily, Mother Mary doesn’t find beauty, elegance and comfort contradictory to her vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. As she so succinctly put it, ‘The life of a 21st-century nun is hard enough without self-imposed physical hardship.’ So garments were lined with prints of hair shirts rather than the actual thing! And although Sherman created a fully functioning daily uniform that followed the brief of traditional religious vernacular, it is so comfortable, intellectual yet playful and even oddly sexy that it appeals hugely to the those of us who can spot an interesting piece when we see one.
Yes sexy – it might not be immediately evident but there’s such a sense of mischief about these garments that make them and the wearer so much more alluring than the obviousness of the traditional fleshbot body-con attire. Obviously I’m not suggesting for a minute that the good sisters of the order are sexcrazed thrill seekers, merely that sometimes having to exude what’s on your mind rather than blatantly advertising it can be very edifying; also wouldn’t you ponder just how sizzling the contents if you have to cover to that extent?
Why don’t you try wearing one just to see what will happen… Fashion as art, mind expansion and intellectual exercise rather than just a quick grab from the high street.
About JF & SON – they are New York-based, own the entire process from production to sales and create mens- and womenswear, accessories and home items. They also regularly partner with contemporary artists, such as K8 Hardy, Amy Yao, robbinschields and Ulrike Müller to provide them with the opportunity to experiment with clothing and textiles in furthering their artistic practice.
About Julia Sherman – she’s an artist who uses various research and production methods to generate mixed visual media including photography, video and sculpture. This design project is the latest instalment of her investigation into the dress and practices of self-sufficient all-female spiritual communities.
The collection goes on sale today, please go to JF & SON
Words by Anna Bang
Union hood | Brushed wool lined in faux shearling and silk hair shirt print | $182
Avery tunic in charcoal | Wool/nylon chiffon, black velvet | $312
Wembly pant in terracotta | Washed silk | $288
Photo by Kabir Fernandez
Tagsanna bang, JF & SON, Julia Sherman,