Mom Jeans

Embroidered, interactive jeans that carry memories. Inspired by Jean-Henri Fabre’s Souvenirs Entomologiques.

I picked that book for many reasons; I, too, have vivid memories of my first encounters with various insects, and have a strong love and fascination for them. I also hold quite dearly how Fabre recollects his experiences, not in a purely scientific manner, but as a fantasized, novelised story. He was often “called out” for being too liberal with his conclusions and how he would anthropomorphise their behaviours, but it is to me the very essence of what a memory is. No memories are purely factual, as they are heavily influenced by emotions and feelings, and keep being altered every time we revisit them.

I reimagined two chapters, each focusing on a specific species: the Praying Mantis and the Rose Chafer.

This project is an exploration of the collective experience of personal memories – combining Fabre’s and mine, but also providing users with the chance to feel that sense of wonder I felt (and Fabre did too) when I first encountered these insects, small but precious, with their own personalities and agendas.

To further accentuate that memory merging, I used a garment I’ve always cherished, a pair of jeans my mother used to wear back in the 90’s, and that I salvaged from the trash. It was stained and ripped, not really wearable anymore, until I started embroidering it with some of my favourite creatures, combining my experience to hers. Embroidery has long been used to express stories in a durable way, even on garments, which was also relevant here.

Mom Jeans is an interactive experience that turns this pair of jeans into a vector for discovery. I embroidered the chosen insects on the jeans, and used them as markers that, when scanned, triggered the apparition of a small scene.