Our latest collaboration with the wonderful Jasmine Moodie, owner of ‘Mude Threads’, made us curious to understand the meaning behind her unique work. We believe a great part of the ethical fashion movement is getting to know the story behind the clothes you wear, so here you can find the true meaning behind every stitch from Mude Threads.
What first inspired you to create Mude Threads?
I never had a plan to embroider naked women! My two passions in life are feminism and art, so I should’ve seen it coming. I’ve always been fascinated by the paradoxical image of the female body – at times it is powerful, and at times it is fragile. It turns out that I’m only good at drawing nakedness (you should see me attempting to draw nature or portraits…). So when I found my University Art Society hosting life drawing classes I popped along. It was only when I was studying abroad in France, when I had a load of free time, that I decided to take up hand-embroidery. After seeing a mesmerising video of a ‘Kantan needle’ on Instagram, I ordered one straight away. When the needle arrived, I had no inspiration for what I wanted to stitch, so I dug out some old life drawing sketches and sewed the curves and lines of a woman’s body onto my favourite sweater.
I didn’t think twice about the design of a woman’s chest, baring all (yup, nipples too) until I wore it to my pretty conservative French Uni. I felt so powerful – after years of being ashamed of my own large breasts, I felt like I had reclaimed control over my own body. Nobody could sexualise my body, because I was proud to be a woman and even prouder to boast a nude design on my chest! Mude’s battle is against censorship of womens’ natural, nuanced, fleshy mounds – I use myself and other women who send me photos as reference for my drawings, so the designs are a process of reconnecting with the beauty of the female form. I have been hyper-sexualised, without my consent, my whole life due to my petite frame and unusually large breasts, so Mude is my way of sticking two fingers up to the society that is adamant to control how our bodies are perceived.
When did you become interested in the feminist movement, was there a moment in particular?
I’ve always had an innate understanding of women being a powerful force to reckon with, since most of my upbringing was just my Mum, my sister and I. I do vaguely remember a conversation with an ex-partner, where we disagreed on the fact that professional tennis players (I know nothing about tennis but I didn’t let this drop!) should be ‘rewarded’ with the same cash prize, regardless of their gender. My ex was adamant that since a female player couldn’t play for as long and couldn’t shoot as strong, that she did not deserve the same ‘reward’. A deep, unearthed sense of equality lit my passion for feminism there and then, as I realised how differently some men and women view gender in society! Since then I have surrounded myself with men and women who believe in gender equality, and adamantly try to change people’s views if they don’t.
How do you hope people feel when they wear a Mude Threads item?
I hope they feel how I felt that first time I wore my hastily embroidered sweater into that French University. I felt powerful, dominant and in-control! Wearing an artistic interpretation of a woman’s body is liberating – it feels as if the expected submissive female nature that we are expected to conform to is stripped away to reveal an unapologetic woman. The nudity represented on my pieces is a direct way of making people question why they are afraid of an empowered nude female form. An empowered naked body is a rarity in our media, especially in pornography. When wearing a Mude Threads design I really hope that people feel like they are sparking conversations about what the female body is here for…because it certainly isn’t here to be a sexual object!
What are your thoughts on ethical fashion?
I think ethical fashion is becoming an absolute necessity! Just as feminism has never been more timely, so too is conscious shopping. I think the new generation of consumers are demanding so much more from the fashion industry, as awareness grows over the plight of minimum-wage workers and fast, disposable fashion. I’m slowly but surely filling my wardrobe with more durable, timeless items as my values shift from ‘being on trend’ to ‘being conscious’ of my habits. Our society tells us that to look good we have to constantly update our wardrobes – I think ethical fashion is turning that notion on it’s head!
Check out our Mude Thread & Ararose Gaia Goddess Tee