Novel Attire: Stories of Clothes, and of Life with Clothes

12 April 2023
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Carol Campbell’s grandmother never trusted a man in a suit.

“Her husband was a cad,” Campbell explained. “My grandmother was the first of his four wives.

He showed up to breakfast one day and she asked for his pay packet because the rent was due. He said he had spent his money on a snazzy new suit to wear to the company Christmas party, and he wasn’t even taking Granny with him.”

“In response, she dumped a pot of hot oatmeal upside down on his head and then took a child under each arm and went to the neighbors,” Campbell concludes. Her grandmother remained suspicious of suited men ever after.

That experience, Campbell says, is just one example of how clothes become part of our stories. And now she is looking for other people’s stories about their clothes for her upcoming show called Novel Attire. The annual event, held in various venues in the Kitchener-Waterloo area of Ontario, is part theatre and part fashion show, showcasing second-hand and altered clothing—and this year everyone is invited to contribute to the story unfolding on stage.

Featured photo by Shanna Camilleri on Unsplash; other images courtesy of Carol Campbell.

Copyright © Marichka Melnyk except as indicated.
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About Marichka Melnyk

Marichka Melnyk is a Toronto-based radio producer and broadcaster, photographer and compulsive traveller, who became an avid distance walker after completing the Camino de Santiago de Compostela across Spain in 2013. She hikes nature trails both inside and outside the Toronto city limits, including the entire Pan Am Path, and regularly writes and presents publicly about her travels. Follow on Facebook or Instagram @Marichpix and @seventy7sunsets, or to get in touch writemarichka@gmail.com.

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