The Warp and Weft of Memory (online narrative archive)

The Warp and Weft of Memory explores the wardrobe of Gisèle d’Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht, a Dutch artist who once lived at Herengracht 401 in Amsterdam. Although she passed away in 2013 at the age of one hundred, traces of her figure can still be sensed through the shape and wear of her clothes. Spanning decades, the range of garments amassed over the years illustrates her fascination with travel, textiles, and design. There are Greek woollen vests, a Chinese silk jacket, and several dresses fashioned by the renowned Dutch designer Dick Holthaus. All were meticulously itemised in Gisèle’s own wardrobe inventories, and many are represented in her photographic archive.

Combining writing, photographs of her clothes, videos, and illustrations, Renée Turner reflects on her direct encounter with Gisèle’s belongings, the intimacy of the closet, and how its content reflects her life, the history of the Netherlands before, during, and after the war, women and their clothing, the privileges of class, and the persona of the female artist. While each garment has its own story, it can be woven into a larger tapestry of other narratives, past and present.

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