It is claimed that Ernest Hemingway once wrote a six-word short story with the aim of making people cry, in order to win a bet. The wager was ten dollars, which Hemingway won with the following:
"For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”
The Lost Clothes project began when I saw (and photographed) a tiny pretty shoe, hooked to a branch, on a hedge, alongside the river Lea, near Clapton Pond in East London.
I would defy anyone not to have found themselves wondering: where it had come from; where it's pair was now; who it had belonged to; when the owners' parent had realised it was gone; whether anyone would come back here and look for it.
After that I started noticing, here and there, other garments, that seemed to have gone astray, been abandoned, flung aside, dropped, misplaced and/or generally lost. And when I started paying proper attention to such items I was surprised to realise that I was spotting not only those obviously likely to get lost sorts of garments, single gloves for example, but outer and under garments of the type that ought not to be lying abandonded in public places. Garments, that is, which you wouldn't expect to see beside a road. They incuded: pairs of trousers, their legs twisted; pairs of shoes; single socks; knickers and/or underpants.
And it seemed to me that their must be a story attached to each of these items; a story that explained the how and the why and the whoops, that had led them to be to lying there. So I started recording my accidental findings; never seeking pieces out but only photographing garments I came across accidentally wherever I happened to be.
This collection is gradually growing, it's curation is an ongoing process and whilst as yet there are no words attached to each at some stage that fact will be revisited. I believe that a tiny story might be attached to that first tiny white shoe I found and to each garment that has followed.
Return to this page in the future and you'll find new pictures of garments I've found and photographed and left where I saw them. None of the pictures that follow have been staged, nothing in them was moved or altered, either when I came across the garment, or as I left the scene - Stephanie Smart