Worn Stories [Netflix] Review: Clothes Documentary Is a Celebration

Spanning the entirety from dry cleansing to outer house, this eight-part have a look at folks’s maximum precious clothes pieces captures an expansive number of lifestyles’s reviews.

Early on within the final episode of “Worn Stories,” various unrelated folks of every age and backgrounds be offering their concepts about love. For a display ostensibly about clothes, that can look like a little of a jump. However after gazing the seven episodes prior, “love” turns out like the one position to finish a season-long have a look at our collective dating to the garments we put on.

The sequence, tailored from author Emily Spivack’s guide of the similar identify, provides a kaleidoscopic view of human enjoy, a number of tales all collected round folks’s maximum precious pieces of clothes. Each and every episode revolves round a thematic connection, drawing in combination a handful of first-person accounts of lifestyles reviews inextricably related to regardless of the storyteller wore all over a specifically fateful time. Those vary from split-second, life-changing surprises to sluggish and protracted sessions the place one particular merchandise become an irreplaceable consistent.

If “Worn Tales” had been merely a The Moth-style number of narrated lifestyles occasions in entrance of a chain of single-toned pastel backgrounds, that might most definitely be sufficient. What “Worn Tales” provides to complement every story is an correctly eclectic mixture of animation and recreations that lend a hand give lifestyles to tales with out the standard archival subject material that might most often lend a hand illustrate. Those interludes succeed in throughout media, spanning collage and cutouts, felt and clay, 2-D and tactile.

Worn Stories. Cr. NETFLIX © 2021 Worn Stories.

“Worn Tales”


When the folk themselves are showcased, it’s now not all the time narration from a closed-off set. There’s additionally time in “Worn Tales” to look folks connecting over some not unusual bond, be it a location (Las Vegas will get a whole episode underneath this delicate microscope) or shared pastime (the outlet bankruptcy comprises individuals who have discovered achievement from a lifestyles lived nude). In every, “Worn Tales” items those tales as a part of a far better tapestry, spotting that clothes shapes and sizes don’t seem to be the one issues that distinguish every successive wearer.

In some ways, “Worn Tales” is an ideal supplement to “Articles of Interest,” the Avery Trufelman-hosted podcast sequence underneath the “99% Invisible” banner. Each initiatives place garments as an concept that we provide to the sector. They may be able to serve an aspiration, a reinvention, a affirmation, or a rejection. Regardless that there are many connections to be present in how one of the vital folks in “Worn Tales” draw power and resilience from what they have got, the display is never repetitive. Positive tales cluster round main coastal towns, however there’s an strive right here for a cross-sectional mix of reviews that don’t simply hew round a unmarried sartorial custom.

If there’s an overarching theme to the sequence, it’s how a lot a easy exchange in apparel can release one thing buried deep inside of. Other people search for alternatives and acceptance in a large town. They observe the evolution of an concept because it strikes via higher media consideration. In those particular person pieces, there’s additionally an opportunity to connect to some deeper, basic a part of an id. The ones anecdotes raise a lot of the sequence’ weight — what administrators Dara Horenblas, Claudia Woloshin, and Ted Passon (additionally a co-director on “Philly D.A.,” due on PBS later this month) additionally organize to seize are the tinier on a regular basis joys and celebrations of lifestyles that come from one thing precious. “Worn Tales” is a display that acknowledges the worth in having as lots of the ones tales as conceivable, although it simplest lasts a sentence or two. (Working example: “I contributed to the unsightly sweater motion.”)

Worn Stories. Debbie Africa and family in Worn Stories. NETFLIX © 2021 in Worn Stories.

“Worn Tales”


The extra central the clothes is to the tale, although it is going in several instructions, the more practical the entire sequence turns into. There are a smattering of segments the place garments are extra tangential, which takes away one of the vital efficiency of what’s being relayed. Probably the most affecting ones have an merchandise (or lack thereof) because the anchor in addition to a gateway to one thing extra. Via season’s finish, the display has discovered its solution to speaking about various religion traditions, occupations, spare time activities, and eras of American lifestyles.

Morgan Neville is an govt manufacturer on “Worn Tales,” which has the similar polished really feel as the opposite Netflix document sequence within the Tremolo productions inventive circle of relatives. There’s the sleekness and a focus to element of “Summary: The Artwork of Design” with out the will or pull to burnish the topic’s credentials. It has the biographical specificity and care of “Track Exploder” whilst making the most of the truth that it’s taking pictures concepts which are already visible.

Each and every player in “Worn Tales” is presented via a primary identify and their prized merchandise. Excluding the handful of public figures collaborating (amongst them a member of Congress, an entertainer, an activist, Spivack herself), there’s a definite more or less conversational anonymity right here that includes that more or less creation. Because of this, “Worn Tales” turns into a super collecting of varieties, a celebration the place everybody comes supplied with one thing to percentage. For some, it’s a extremely emotional retelling with a gravity that the display respects. Others’ are extra outrageous likelihood encounters with a bodily remnant to hold round years and even many years later. That “Worn Tales” manages to seek out a religious hyperlink between all of them is a reputation of each their inherent enchantment and the common draw of a definite cloth cabinet selection.

Grade: A-

“Worn Tales” is now to be had to move on Netflix. 

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