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Dressing for that Final Journey

Clothes for the dearly departed are now being selected with the greatest thought and care. <i>Picture: Craig Sillitoe</i>
Clothes for the dearly departed are now being selected with the greatest thought and care. (Picture: Craig Sillitoe)

Have you ever wondered what you would wear on your last final journey? Though this is fashion at the extreme end, for this important moment nothing should be left out, nor any detail overlooked. Prepare your outfit or others will do it for you, perhaps leaving you slightly unsatisfied, to say the least. As the old joke goes, “Is he a good salesman?” “Well, he could sell a pair of trousers to a widow’s dead husband and an extra pair at the same time!” That’s what happens when others make the choices for you.
Think about it for a moment; here today, gone tomorrow with no time to waste. What would you like to be remembered in? Fancy dress or casual? Your favourite dress or shirt? An apron or a pair of work trousers? In your purple and blue bow-tie, flowered shirt and yellow jacket? Your dinner jacket? Your tracksuit? What about shoes? Shall we forget those, or do we want them too to complete the picture? Periodically check before you go to see if what you want to wear still fits; otherwise have it taken in or let out or decide on something else. In the end, or our demise, it’s a final journey to where? Better to be happy with what you’re wearing; you never know.
The image that we have of ourselves and wish to leave behind is a strong representation of our personality and the lifestyle that we led. Even though it is still somewhat of a taboo dinner party conversation, the trend today is more on the casual side, less dressy clothes. Fewer suits and less nice dresses are being worn as the tendency goes towards comfort. Gabriella dressed her neighbour in an apron, as the apron was like a uniform for her – without it, she went nowhere. Scarlett would like to be dressed in red and black underwear with black fishnet stockings attached to a black suspender belt, slightly covered with a short black satin robe. No mention of shoes, just the naked feet. Sexy.
In any case, don’t leave this final fashion statement up to your family or friends, as they might get it wrong – not something you would want.

Pendery Weekes, Fashion Editor

Volume 33 no 2 November / December 2018 p 35

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Miklos Legrady

When my final days arrive, as dark clouds hover overhead, I will request that once I’m dead, I be stuffed with raw popcorn kernels, and burnt in public on a funeral pyre.

Pendery Weekes

Now that sounds like an original and explosive way to go, or rather, the ultimate performance. Thank you for your pyrotechnic contribution.

Takeru Nakamura

I fear that with the ongoing movement of comfort care we will all lose the right to decide anything. Death once was a very beautiful and artistic way to celebrate the end of life with a funeral – now is only a celebration of joy?

Sheila Ratcliff

Hi Takeru, I think I get the gist of what you’re trying to say, moreover that the value of life has been cheapened. Just look at the rights of unborn children who can be aborted in the state of New York, Washington DC, Colorado and California up until the day they would have been born full term babies; they have no rights. I’m not sure that Pendery’s article makes sense in a society where people hardly ever have funerals anymore; often months after a person’s death a party is held to celebrate the life of the “dearly beloved”. In my… Read more »

Rose Daniels

Dr. Pia Interlandi is a fashion designer of clothes for the dead in Australia, with a PhD from RMIT in Melbourne in Dressing Death on Fashioning Garments for the Grave. Apparently, not everyone wants to be cremated today.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-10/this-fashion-designer-makes-clothes-for-dead-bodies/8881624

Pippa Barister

This fits in perfectly with Paa Joe’s work, the coffin artist from Ghana (no pun intended on “fits in”). He’s a sculptor and makes coffins in all sorts of forms, animals, a chili pepper, a coca cola bottle, and so on.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/b-de14RqLO8