Home TV Shows News ‘Worn Stories,’ A Jolly & Heart-Warming Tale of Clothes is Topping the Charts on Netflix

‘Worn Stories,’ A Jolly & Heart-Warming Tale of Clothes is Topping the Charts on Netflix

“Worn Stories”, the first unscripted series from Jenji Kohan, explores the back-story of garments people have strong attachments to, and what it says about our culture

Ritika Kispotta - Sat, 10 Apr 2021 11:05:21 +0100 3121 Views
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The must-watch series just premiered on Netflix earlier this month, and it’s already claimed a highly coveted spot on the streaming service’s list of most-watched shows. (It’s currently ranked at number seven behind 'Who Killed Sara?', 'The Serpent', 'The Irregulars', 'Ginny & Georgia', 'Cocomelon', and 'Big Time Rush'.) Based on the book with the same name by Emily Spivack, Worn Stories has been created by Jenji Kohan & Morgan Neville and is a poignant collection of personal stories and the impact of clothing on our lives. “So much about who we are is stitched into fabrics we wear every day,” reads the narrator and it is with this ideology we note down our learning from watching this anthropology of human relationship to clothing.

This docuseries follows a bunch of real people who have something in common: They all have a habit of holding onto clothes, simply because the pieces are attached to beloved memories. It consists of eight 30-minute episodes that each focus on a specific theme, along with related real-life stories.

We all have clothes that we hang on to; a top that no longer fits but reminds us of an epic trip, a wildly uncomfortable heel, but because we wore it to a wedding it’s impossible to let go of. The pieces that we own, whether we still wear them or not, do more than just taking up closet space—they come with a story. And a new Netflix series, Worn Stories, is aiming to tell some of them.

The series structures its inquiry thematically across eight episodes. Subjects appear in interviews shot against brightly draped backdrops—unique fashion shoots if you will—as they display an item of clothing and unpack its story. Although the breezy, conversational approach is consistently engaging, it’s admittedly a bit all-over-the-map stylistically as episodes feature a scattered array of animated sequences to accompany the stories. (Sometimes not at all if there’s enough location footage.) These animated moments, which were added as a mid-pandemic remedy when shooting in the field proved impossible, are offbeat fun. They are like the patches that keep a pair of well-worn jeans from falling apart.

The episodes center on themes of community, acceptance, beginnings, growth, uniforms, chance, survival, and love, although there is continuity between the discussions as some of the ideas inevitably overlap. Each installment is like a journey through the closet, opening the doors and sliding garments across a rack item by item, considering the meaning each item signifies. Worn Stories offers a notably inclusive consideration of a field that can be restrictive and exclusive. The series is especially considerate of LGBTQ stories with each episode featuring tales of belonging, community, and survival from confidence-boosting clubwear to stylish aerobics pants that helped a wearer make it through the peak of the AIDS crisis.

Spivack has been exploring how people relate to their clothing for years, and her show comes out at a time when people have been at home for over a year, with their relationship to their clothes entirely different from what it was before. Some are desperate to get dressed up again, while others have discovered athleisure and never want to go back.



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