How to Wear Nakedness By Jazz from the Mude Threads
Updated: Nov 15, 2018
Jazz Moodie, the founder of the Mude Threads, has launched her business in a response to the harassing comments she received in regards to her body shape whilst growing up. Her beautiful embroidery designs are teaching us how to wear nakedness and why is it crucial to celebrate female bodies in all shapes and forms.
Who is Jazz Moodie?
I’m ‘yer average disillusioned 22-year-old trying to figure out where I stand in the world. I’m a very weird combination of traits, education and skills - a Management with Marketing student, with a firm interest in gender equality and a stubborn passion for art...more specifically, the art of naked women.
How did you become interested in embroidery?
In my first year of Uni, I started going to life drawing classes, mostly in an attempt to pretend that I was an art student rather than an imposter from the Business School. I keep all of my sketches from these sessions, so when I found myself at a lose end in France on my year abroad, it felt natural to get back into sketching nakedness...and eventually embroidering nudity. I ordered a ‘Kantan Needle’ one day in February 2017 after seeing a mesmerising video of the embroidery process on Instagram. I was so so so excited to use it that I embroidered right onto my bed sheet haha! It took me a few weeks to get used to the skill and the tensions in the thread to create half-decent chain stitches. Once I felt good enough to vandalise one of my own sweaters, I hastily found an old life drawing sketch (not realising this would become Mude) and sketched it onto the fabric with a chalk. That’s how it all began! I loved the sweatshirt – with its new embroidered woman, bearing all with both nipples out in a baby pink thread. I wore it to my French University, full of quite conservative students and staff, and loved how powerful it made me feel. I felt that after so many years of feeling ashamed of my breasts and feeling like I should hide them from unwanted attention, I had finally reclaimed my power. I couldn’t be shamed for having my cleavage out, or having big boobs, if I had a naked girl on my sweater bearing all! Ha, in ya face, society!
Why did you decide to start up your own business?
Mude started out as my way of sticking two fingers up to the society that is adamant to control how my body is perceived. We live in a society that socialises women to be ashamed of our curves, to be modest to be respected and to strive for an unattainable body. Sexism ignited the fire to start Mude, and it is the brave, gorgeous women who wear the nakedness that I create that inspires me to do more.
What is Mude Threads?
Mude is an artistic celebration of the female form! We live in a society that socialises women to be ashamed of our curves, to be modest to be respected and to strive for an unachievable body. Mude designs aim to represent (real) women in the form of line drawings and embroidery, to reclaim control over our censored and sexualised bodies! It's all about 'wearing nakedness' and showing the world that we are tired of our natural body rolls, butts and boobs being censored and sexualised without our consent.
" Mude designs aim to represent (real) women in the form of line drawings and embroidery, to reclaim control over our censored and sexualised bodies! "
Growing up, do you think your childhood has had an impact on your future career?
I’ve always had an innate understanding of women being a powerful force to reckon with since most of my upbringing was just my mum, my sister and I. I have been hyper-sexualised, without my consent, my whole life due to my petite frame and unusually large breasts. I guess you could say that the uninvited stares and comments 'inspired' me to fight back.
What is the role of art in your life?
I've always been fascinated by the paradoxical image of the female body – at times it is powerful, and at times it is fragile. A lot of my family are artistic, and we all lean on art when times get tough or we feel low. I always found a sense of calmness in drawing nakedness - it's so easy to get lost in the lines and curves...
What response did you receive in the early days about your creative work?
I think a lot of people around me were confused as to why I’d chosen such a ‘crude’ or ‘vulgar’ muse. At first, I was angry with critical responses to my art - I would puff up with my infamous stubbornness. Now, I revel in making the critics squirm...is that bad?! I’ve seen the stares and disapproving glances when I wear nakedness in public. I love making the critics think. There's something so powerful about wearing painted or embroidered nakedness and knowing that you are challenging people’s notions of the female form. For those people who automatically view my work as ‘crude’, I say “why?”? Why is it that the sight of a line drawing of boobs is crude? Is it because you’ve been socialised to view the female form as shameful and sexual? There’s nothing crude or sexual about the female body unless the person consents to sexualisation!
" There's something so powerful about wearing embroidered nakedness and knowing that you are challenging people’s notions of the female form. "
What challenges have you faced when running your own business and how did you overcome these?
The nature of my business is often deemed 'too explicit' which makes reach new customers and spreading awareness very difficult. Instagram recently deactivated my original business account (along with hundreds of product photos and thousands of followers and supporters) as it had been deemed 'too sexually explicit'. The irresponsibility of Instagram culling a small independent business with no warning is sickening, but worse yet was their decision to label my artwork as “explicit”. I rely solely on word of mouth, which is quite limiting as a start-up trying to create a revolution!
What is your biggest achievement up to date?
Ahhhhhh I freaked out big time when I was featured in ‘In the Moment’ magazine which is sold on the high-street...I walked in to a WHSmith and my face, words and art was printed in that mag...it was awesome.
At Vagina-Nomics, we are passionate about the representation of women’s nudes. We disagree with naked women being seen as over-sexualised objects of desire and believe that we should all find comfort within our own bodies. Mude Threads is helping to change the perception of female nudity. What type of responses have you received from your wearers - does wearing your design change their mentality?
When a nude photo comes through from a customer I get a huge wave of pride - not only are these women empowered enough to pose unapologetically nude, but they are also remarkably trusting in sending them to me to turn into art. Every woman’s photo portrays a story and an aura; I am always humbled to be able to see the intimate side to such powerful women. The most empowering part of the whole Nude Commission process is when I receive messages where women acknowledge that the beautiful creation they have received and love is based solely on their own bodies! It’s an incredible way of holding a mirror up to women and helping them to see what society doesn't want them to see...every curve, scar, hair, roll and droop is beautiful.
Jazz is a huge inspiration behind finding the beauty within ourselves. As a part of the Nude Commissions, you can have your own silhouette embroidered onto a piece of clothing and through wearing it empower and inspire other women to learn to love their bodies. We cannot wait to get our hands on one (or two)!
P.S. For our printed issue, Jazz has created a guide to ‘feminist embroidery’. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed about when it comes out!