Clothes to die for

Pia Interlandi, a fashion designer based in Sydney, Australia is pioneering a line in ‘shroud clothing’ to allow the living to dress their dearly departed.

Whilst the concept is bound to raise a few eyebrows, the designer hopes to use her idea as a way to address the taboo which still surrounds death and funerary rituals in the west. ‘It's just one way to crack open that space we don't often talk about’, the black-clad 26-year-old said.

Interlandi’s breakthrough moment came when she was preparing her beloved grandfather for his funeral: 'Doing up his leather shoes...I was just like 'where is he going to be walking?' Really. He doesn't need shoes’. She explained to afp that the experience prompted her to develop the concept of shroud clothing comprising hemp and silk garments designed to wrap the body and head.

Rather than burying corpses in formal wear, Interlandi hopes her alternative designs will provide personalised and sympathetic coverings for the dead. Whilst some imagine that ‘death wear’ would consist of glittering gold suits and lamé leotards the designer insists rather that she wants to remain mindful of the ‘considerations and constraints in designing a garment that is for the ground.’

’The environmental considerations are huge - that we don't want to be polluting the earth with plastics - but there is a psychological protection that we, as the living burying the dead, need.’ Interlandi’s deathly designs should be available from 2012.

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