The shadows of Eden

I’ve always been driven by feelings and emotions (something I talk about a lot).

In this collection, I will explore a theory I came across during a class in Visual Culture. One that will take me on a path of testing my abilities in translating thoughts into physical creations.

Without further ado, diving straight into Jacques Lacan’s Mirror Stage and my journey of understanding it.


Jacques Lacan in his mirror stage talks about how an infant sees itself as an endless stream of thoughts and ideas that can’t be restrained. Therefore, the child doesn’t perceive itself as an individual, it just exists as a unified subject; indefinable and whole.
Upon seeing its reflection in the mirror for the first time, the child gets a sense of its individual identity, thus losing the authenticity and reality of being a whole subject. This is what causes the split between the unconscious self (the subject) and the ego (the formation of a self that we think of as an “I*). Consequently resulting in the “I” becoming separated from the authentic and complete subject; thus we become detached from our own selves. This du-al-relationship of the subject as a whole, and what the child learns to perceive as an identity, is a relationship between the imaginary and the real. The mirror gives the illusion that the character is whole when in reality the desires and inconsistencies of life experienced by the subject before the mirror stage are what’s authentic and real. After this event the child is left with a sort of melancholy feeling, never again being able to truly represent it’s imaginary (true) self.


Whilst studying Lacan, I tried to visually represent the subject going through the mirror stage. With the first garment showcasing the subject prior to the split. The garment is almost indefinable, and the viewer can only recognize scattered pieces that form the silhouette, just like the child isn’t able to distinguish itself prior to seeing its own reflection; it only sees parts of himself that he can’t form into a full image. The next outfit represents the moment after the event, where we have the formation of the ego, but the presence of the imaginary is still very strong. We have this non-visible subject that is represented in the garment as a fluid drape that is trying to maintain its true form, whilst the physical entity that is introduced at this stage is represented as the suit. Sadly, after the split, the imaginary whole subject can never again truly, physically represent itself.
Whereas the third look presents one’s outer body (the “¡”) that is formed over time, slowly losing touch with one’s true self. In the end, I steer away from Lacan, adding my own ending, so to speak. Where, after the passing away of the subject, our true self gets free from the restraints of our physical bodies, and is once again able to represent itself to the fullest. The fourth outfit tries to visually represent this
In addition, the collection is mostly made out of upcycled garments. Using them for fabric or reconstructing and integrating them into newly formed ones.