Does textile matters?

Textiles mediate our contact with the world—a second skin that filters our experience of matter and conditions external to ourselves. On our bodies, textiles do not hide our stripped, naked selves, but modify the way material appendages become extensions of self. They are liminal: material that verges between inner and outer, boundary and permeation. Fabrics are not defined by their inert materiality and protective or decorative qualities, but through their ability to carry memory and sentiment. Amidst an increasing tendency to see fashion as frivolous and purely decorative, Halo Labels seeks to engage with a much broader and intimate view of clothing as a fundamental human experience and expression.

People form an unconscious bond with their clothes – the material objects they wear. Clothing is multi-sensory, picked for its visual appeal and quality of touch. As we wear clothes, we form an unconscious bond with the material most immediately touching our unaltered selves, material that can also trigger emotions and evoke feelings.

Halo Labels designer Ala Sowiar seeks to create clothes that can cultivate an awareness of the inherent connection between garment and self--to help us learn how inhabiting our clothes affects how we inhabit the world. In the precarious chaotic reality where humans forget how to just be and how to tune into their pure self, Halo Labels offers clothes that affirm freedom and the pleasure of wellbeing. Through our clothing, we foster attitudes of freedom, detachment, and aesthetic playfulness in relation to material existence, helping us to make peace with the plural purposes of clothing.

Unlike their constantly evolving form, clothing has retained its inherent anthropological nature over time; it is functional, semiotic, performative, individual, collective, cultural, economic. It reflects and defies time, and communicates agency, identity. As Alan Watts once said: "Wearing clothes is a gesture which implies the unadmitted knowledge that our personalities are put on." A garment is therefore not reducible to its layering function, but it is also a means of expressing our individualism and the need for creation. For us, the task of a designer is to create clothes that encourage this creativity and arouse a curiosity of self and world.

Halo Labels treats textiles as a soft matter. For us the texture is the essence of the material, stimulating our eyes and touch, connecting sense with memory and sentiment. Our clothes often refer to the forms of nature, through the shapes or the structure of the textile itself.  Our everyday wardrobe is showcased in transitional seasonal collections complimented by the permanent clothing line: GAUZE SHIRTS, a classic silhouette cut from layered, hand-dyed gauze that is meant to be breathable and soft.

Textile as New Media

Living in the information age, shredded, nonlinear reality of the internet, we are building our  experience towards work of art or design on associations and slogans rather than on solid content - allegories.  The contemporary fashion, as a part of culture  fits into this tendency,  that engages the wearer = spectator  to create their own semantic fields and to select messages, in order to build their own personal experience. 

For Ala Sowiar who previously was occuppied with textile art and new media during her art studies in Poznan and Berlin, the fabric as the system of interconnected fibers-elements, can be associated with such terms as: network, link, web. It's structure is considered nonlinear, like the way of thinking, based on the principle of hyperlinks and selection. As the neurophysiologist Charles Sherrington said, "The brain is like an enchanted weaving loom where millions of neurons, weave a pattern full of sense, but never solid one".  Not by coincidence the fabric and electronic media have more in common than they might seem at first. Their story coincided in 1805 with the invention of an automated "jacquard loom", which principle was a prototype for the computer operating systems, and therefore the digital technologies. The programming was done with perforated cards in such a way that individual holes programmed hooks to choose the thread of the right color. It was possible to create complex patterns up to 1,400 tones, with an extremely high resolution. This term is not accidental,  because the digital image and the fabric share a similar code. The weft and warp junction in the fabric may be aligned with the pixel, a mosaic of crossed points.

The structure of the physical matter that is the fabric corresponds to the digital image. The nature of both of these media is flexible, unstable and transparent, as is the nature of liquid modernity described by Zygmunt Bauman. Textile are plastic substance with an organized texture of interwoven elements. We believe that the elusive and resistant nature of textile will inspire inventions of new materials and technologies in the future.