The New Black Episode 3 – Life and Death

by Patsyfox on January 7, 2018


In today’s edition of The New Black on 3RRR radio it was all about death and rebirth. I spoke with the beautifully eloquent Dr Pia Interlandi about her work in creating Garments for the Grave, and her incredible recent commission by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, for which she created a Little Black (Death) Dress for their current exhibition Items: Is Fashion Modern? You can see can see a brilliant set of images from the exhibition on their website. Worth searching out also is the documentary made for the ABC Artscape series – Soul, which documented Pia’s first collaboration with a client. Her originality and depth of thought is both touching and fascinating, and I love that she is helping to teach people to stare their death fears down.

We took a hook turn after that and welcomed to the studio fashion journalist Jan Breen Burns of VoxFrock, and The Age senior writer Kerrie O’Brien. Jan spent 12 years as fashion editor for The Age, at a time when they switched from print-first to digital-first, and Kerrie specialises in writing about the arts and entertainment areas, having worked on many areas of The Age including Spectrum, Epicure, EG, Domain. We chatted about how (fashion) writing and reporting has changed, the question of Are magazines dead? (Answer: NO – circulation is down but readership is UP), and the disruption in consumer habits that sees us not feeling the need to own things – we stream music, read magazines and newspapers online, car-share or Uber – as usual, it’s all inter-connected. We touched on the new disseminators of information – influencers. And more.

You can listen back to the program here.


Above: (L-R) Pia Interlandi, Kerrie O’Brien, Jan Breen Burns


Pia’s Little Black (Death) Dress, currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The black dye is heat sensitive and turns to white when touched, then fades back to black.


Pia’s beautiful Garments for the Grave, described by someone as “Made from ivory coloured silk, cotton and hemp, without any metal zippers, plastic buttons, or synthetic firbres, the garments are completely biodegradable. The effect, including delicate silk pockets for the hands and feet, is reminiscent of a beekeeper who has fallen asleep wearing Comme De Garcons.”