ABUSE ((HIM))

Preston Douglas’s sixth collection, entitled ABUSE, explores the cyclical nature of emotional abuse within the family dynamic. ABUSE will be released in four parts over the course of the next two years.

The first quarter of the collection, entitled ((HIM)), stems from Preston’s tumultuous relationship with his father.

Preston chose maroon as the focal color for this segment of ABUSE to represent the combination of love, fear, anger, and resentment. He uses varying shades, tones, and textures of maroon to reflect the constant shifts of emotional existence and the varying levels of abuse. How deep does it hurt? How dark does it go? The billowing silhouettes aim to comfort the wearer, but do so in an impermanent and impractical way, constantly reminding that person of the emotional weight they are now burdened by. The collection wants to be beautiful, it wants to shine, but the darkness is ever present and eventually consumes the wearer every time, no matter how hard they try and get away. The zippers are scars, and when opened they reveal the the innocence and ignorance that once was.

The garments themselves challenge the traditional notions of what clothing is and is not, and Preston further pushes these boundaries by treating the garments as sculptures while treating ingenuously draped paintings as clothing.

Over the course of the past 10 months as Preston has been working on this collection, he has found many influences that directly impacted the body work such as Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, Andy Stott’s Violence, and Georg Baselitz’ P.D. Idol 1964 to name a few. Further examination about the impetus of this collection can be found by examining the graphic logo and through his design book writings scattered below.

Preston designed this collection, as with all of his previous bodies of work, as a cathartic process. He hopes that this collection can start a candid conversation about this personal and painful side of life we often leave unexamined, and by doing so unconsciously allowing the cycle to repeat itself. The only way we can stop the cycle from happening again is by being open, honest, and vulnerable about our individual pasts and taking action to better ourselves in the midst of darkness.

((HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE))


March 4th, 2018


We started speaking again 2 days ago. He broke the silence and confronted me.

I didn't know what to say but it was something. I have no idea what I'm doing, but it feels better starting to forgive him and let him back into my life than struggling so hard to push him out.

At the same time, I'm fucking scared. Scared that this cycle will just repeat itself again like it always does. How do I stay present and a good son while expecting the worse and as emotionally unattached from the very real possibility, and probability, of it happening all over again. In a week, a month, a year, I know it will because he refuses to work on himself.

I wish the silence and the pain pushed him to pursue help for himself, but that didn't really work. I can't create willingness in someone else. Trust me, I've tried.

Have I been emotionally abusive back to the emotionally abusive?


 
 

CONFRONTATION REALIZATION SHAME

 
 

March 6th, 2018


Everything feels okay right now but I'm already seeing signs of the cycle repeating itself.

Fuck.

I'm ready to remove myself from the situation but at least I've got some time to get out before it happens again, and leave on a good note.

Hurt people hurt people.


 
 
 
 

August 7th, 2018


The years upon years of emotional, verbal, and financial abuse need to come to an end. The cycle keeps repeating itself over and over again. I'm so emotionally hungover and fucked up inside but I feel a sense of peace. The fear consumes me but in the depths of the darkness I see hope. Right now, at least. This shit is too real. Even though it's been this way for way too long, I fantasize about a normal life. "Normal".

All families suffer from something similar to this. Some live with it all their lives and some reach the breaking point. I did today. My father is staying 3 miles away at a hotel tonight. I hope this is his bottom and he does everything in his power to change, but I severely doubt it. He is constitutionally incapable of being honest with himself. I empathize with how his childhood was even more fucked up than this current situation, but that is not an excuse to continue the cycle of abuse into the present. I can't believe my mom has stuck around for this long, but she lived her life with an alcoholic and abusive father, so it's what she knows. Thank God she's finally getting help and working on herself or else my only option would be to move. Move far, far away. Far enough away so that when I'd inevitably get uncomfortable, going back to this home-life sickness wouldn't be possible. Living here is both the most comfortable and uncomfortable place on earth.

 
 

August 7th, 2018 (continued)

I don't want to die though. I want to live. Mainly because by living I am able to create and to laugh. I pray to God every day and turn my will and my life over to something bigger than myself because I am my father without divine assistance. I am sure that my dad said he would never be like his Dad when he was growing up. I picture him sitting outside his house in Texas City waiting for his father to come pick him up, but would never show up. So he turned to drugs and alcohol. Just like me. Abuse on that level takes so much work on a daily basis to work through and my dad did not. He used that pain and channeled it to control. Since he had not worked on his problems, when my mom came into the picture, it all started over again.

From an early age my father was loving and would do anything for me. Then there would be days where my parents would fight. That's when I first wanted to kill myself. Sometime in middle school. Drugs and alcohol seemed to fix that, but in reality just made everything worse. Until I got to a point at so much pain that I asked for help and put in action. My father seems incapable of doing those two things which is why I am sitting here at 11pm writing this.

I'm glad I sent my grandma that painting yesterday in light of everything that unfolded today. My dad and I are both sick people. I have his name. Preston, Douglas. That darkness is inside of me, and I have no question about it. My form of abuse is much more aimed at myself but I hope, pray, and work every day toward doing everything in my power to break this cycle.

 
 
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MODEL: JOHN FELTCH

PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY: TYLER SWANNER

GRAPHIC DESIGN: COLIN FLETCHER, TYLER SWANNER, BRIAN THRASH