RCA SHOW 2012

Dora Mentzel

Critical Writing in Art & Design


Still from Time & Again – The Gyre in Fashion

HD video


Major Project: Time & Again – The Gyre in Fashion

This is a documentary film about complex notions of time which operate in fashion. The film – an extract of a longer work – features nine interviews with people working in different sectors of the fashion industry in Britain today. Each engages in one way or another with the production or interpretation of fashion trends.

In fashion, time does not run in a linear way but is like a gyre, a forward-moving spiral with no fixed pattern, jumping backward and forward at random. This model can help understand how, in fashion, elements from the past are put into the context of a new moment while simultaneously looking towards the future. If both past and future are stitched into today’s garments, then when is ‘now’? How can something be ‘of the moment’ when it was designed several months in advance?

Short-lived fashion trends are a symptom of society today, while slower and more stable fashions are emblematic of wider cultural patterns.

The first part of the film has been produced into a voiced-over film and can be seen within Show RCA 2012. The rest exists in the form of a narrative text.



+44 (0)7817 923 434

dora.mentzel@network.rca.ac.uk