A wetsuit, mermaid costume, clown attire, Liverpool FC T-shirt and an imperial Chinese robe. These last outfits were chosen by some of the 23 people taking part in a photo project initiated by The Straits Times, the leading Singapore daily, in partnership with Lien Foundation, a Singapore philanthropic house. Entitled “The Last Outfit”, the project showcases individuals in the clothes they wish to wear for their own funeral.
For The Last Outfit, 8 professional photographers from The Straits Times captured 23 subjects attired in the final fashion statements of their choice.
Mr Lee Poh Wah, CEO, Lien Foundation: “Dressing is a way of life and even at death, our clothes can be a statement of who we are. Each exit outfit is one that best expresses the subject’s unique life. Their outfits and candid attitude have given us a fresh and fun perspective on how to deal with death. If there’s something like funeral fashion, they are setting a trend by wearing their souls on their sleeves.”
The Last Outfit seeks to remove the taboo of death and enthuse people to view life and death differently. It is part of the Foundation’s Life Before Death initiative we wrote about in 2010.
The second portrait in the image below is 46 year-old cancer patient Madam Foo Piao Lin. She joined the project to encourage people to talk about death openly.
All her life, she had always wanted to wear a beautiful cheongsam (Chinese dress). Now she has her wish fulfilled by the Last Outfit project and at her funeral. She prepared her family and shared with them her last wishes and hopes. She took part in the project to encourage others not to shy away from end-of-life issues and to make preparations for the inevitable. On 1 August 2011, she passed away.