The Journey Of A Dress feat 4Minutes33

October 13, 2014

I love stories and processes. Often the process is a lot more important to me then the outcome or the final product. And this in many was extends to my love of clothes. Especially clothes made by my friends, I want to understand the journey of the dress. I’m not sure if you’re all interested in stories as much as I am but I’ve loved wearing this dress (the Penn Dress) and I wanted to share its story. The dress is a 4Minutes33 piece and one half 4Minutes33 – designer Francesca Altenburg was kind enough to answer a few questions about the dress.

You and Gemma come up with the most interesting names for your clothing. Where did the name for the Penn Dress originate? 

The Penn dress is named after Louis Kahn one of my favourite architects who built a lot of buildings in PENNsylania. Kahn’s work is often blocky, geometric, quite sculptural but with a soft poetic edge – I guess that’s what attracts me to his work. The neck to the Penn dress is so blocky and square that I wanted a name that referenced that aspect of the piece. I designed this piece, or one of this many versions when I was studying at the Canberra Institute of Technology. It’s a form (the big neck for hiding in) that has infinite appeal to me (I really don’t know why?). A lot of my work looks at a balance between Masculine (square, geometric, black) versus Feminine (soft, grey/white, organic). Louis Kahn also looks at these themes in his work and that’s why I’m drawn to him for inspiration.

What type of woman is the Penn Dress for? 

The Penn dress has had a strange journey of many different details and fabrics. I think the Penn dress is a great piece as it can be worn as a dress or a tunic and can be causal or corporate, it covers a lot of ground. I’ve worn mine (made from black wool jersey) over wide leg jeans a lot and felt my best myself (that feeling of when an outfit really expresses a little part of your personality and makes you feel better than yourself). This feeling/expression is what drives me to design and I hope people who wear 4 Minutes 33 feel some of this when wearing our clothes. I don’t think our clothes are for any specific person as such, there more about how you feel in them.

What fabric is the dress made of and where can it be purchased? 

The fabric is a wool blend and I was drawn to this fabric as it was soft but holds shape and has a slight corporate feel | You can buy the dress at Assemblage Project in Canberra or you can email for more information.

Do you have a favourite story of a piece of clothing you have? 
I’m really drawn to this story and this dress. I tried it on at Assemblage Project with these boots and I loved the equestrian chic look and I knew I simply had to have it.


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