A small group of women living in the isolated villages of central Sardinia have worn the same dress for a lifetime. Filmmaker Andrea Pecora shares this amazing tradition in her beautiful short film Desula.
Desula: One dress altered for a lifetime of wear is truly the ultimate in refashionista upcycling.
Enjoy this stunning short documentary below:
A lifetime of stories speaks through the ancient language of colour, material and needlework in the traditional dress worn by women in a mountainous Sardinian town.
Filmmaker Andrea Pecora, whose grandfather was born in Desula, shared this explanation of the tradition with National Geographic: “The dress is an essential part of the social code. The baby girls, in their first days of life, already wear the costume. Growing older, of course, they change it, but somehow it is always the same dress in the sense [that] the code embroideries are permanent. The richest women might have two: one for everyday life, similar to the dress you see in the film, and one for special events. The poorer wear a double-faced dress: on one side more rich, on the other less so. The dress changes color depending on the events. It’s more red and beautiful when they get married, darker red when bad things happen to them—the loss of a child, for example—and black if they become a widow.”
On the opposite end of the reuse spectrum is the documentary Unravel. Meghna Gupta created an amazing film that follows literally tons of the tossed garments of the West on an overseas journey to India where garment recyclers turn the huge bales of cast-off clothes into yarn.