You can’t take it with you, as the saying goes. So Australian designer Pia Interlandi decided to apply that idea to clothing — after all, when you die, do you really need a designer suit?
Interlandi started a label called Garments for the Grave. She makes clothing that is easy to put onto a dead body and will eventually decompose with it. On her web site she says the inspiration came from dressing her grandfather for his own funeral.
Every culture has a “dress for death” ritual, but Interlandi started thinking about the difference between what a living person needs in clothing and the needs of a corpse at a funeral. For example, many of the fibers used in modern clothing will long outlast the body itself.
She chose the fibers after experimenting with pigs. She dressed 21 dead pigs in handmade outfits, and checked to how long various fibers took to decompose. Some fibers decomposed faster in the presence of a body, while others outlasted it and some disintegrated faster when they were by themselves.
Her prototype design is more like a kimono or a shroud, but there are other designs — she offers assistance in funeral dressings.
Credit: Pia Interlandi