The origins of Oneshirt are complex. It’s not like I woke up one day and said “I am going to design a garment that I can wear everyday for the rest of my life.” But, at a certain point, I actually did exactly that. To explore the origins of this radical change in my life, I will have to look at who I am, where I was at the time I made the change and what I hope to achieve. To tell this story, I am going to have to talk about my body, my family, my values, my taste, my skills, my job, my students, my reading, my hopes for the future. I want to get the origins story in the right order because knowing that I chose not to own a dryer before I chose to try a capsule wardrobe, or that I decided to try wearing graduated compression tights before I tried wearing compression leggings, or that I was doing silk painting before I tried shibori, these orders matter to the outcome. I have to start somewhere, so I guess that I will start in Denmark.
I apprenticed as a Tailor with a Master Tailor who had apprenticed with a man who had studied at the Royal Tailor Academy in Copenhagen. Sitting at the large padded worktable (that I still work from) at the age of 22, Valdene, my apprenticeship master, told me that she would teach me how to hold a needle, the same way Steen taught her to hold a needle, and the two of us, perched at the end of the 20th century gently inserted the tips of our needles into a mysterious history and opened our hands to drop the needle and the reached inside the fabric to catch it passed through. “The needle is falling, you dropped it and you are catching it as it falls.”