For some, death is a forbidden thought that is unwelcome within and outside a person’s mind. But for some, they take the rituals and procession of their death seriously and want it to be done to the detail, from the funeral dressing, theme and final resting place, some people just have it all planned out before they kick the bucket. While for some, their loved ones are left in care of the final respect they pay the deceased.
Dr Pia Interlandi, a fashion designer passionate about the arts and crafts of beautifying and dressing the dead. She is a certified designer, celebrant and funeral practitioner, known for her dissolvable fabrics, which is a means as a means with which to investigate the notion of transformation, disappearance and remainder.Dr Pia makes funeral garments for clients to suit individual needs. The death of her grandfather sparked her decision to become a funeral dresser.
Dr Pia dresses her clients in fabrics made from natural fibres like cotton, wool, silk, and linen because they “break down in a similar process to that of the human body”
Her interest in textile manipulation and garment transformation, which can be credited to her fascination of the human body and time spent in Japan. Dr Pia, who is a graduate of Design in Fashion from RMIT is also undergoing a PHD course, also at RMIT studying, Dressing Death: Fashioning Garments for the Grave.
“My role, which began as designer, transformed into maker, sculptor, scientist, celebrant, dresser and death-wear facilitator. Garments for the Grave is a practice that has emerged from previous project work, and uses skills from the fashion realm whilst incorporating elements of funeral celebrancy.