Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mythologick: The Future of Fashion?

With all due respect to my fellow bloggers, the shining moment for me in The Devil Wears Prada--was Madame Meryl's speech on the uselessness of trying to avoid fashion, during her spiel on the color cerulean. There is no non-fashion--there is "anti-fashion" which is essentially bad taste thinking above its class. I have a beloved monkey friend in London who vehemently refuses to wear any type of pattern or print. (I think he was recently swayed into stripes). Like any self-respecting, public-school teaching socialist, he wears drab industrial colors with no generic slogans or capitalist logos. Alas, I think, he does not realize how much he is in fashion--his version is simply the clothing equivalent of minimalist design. Use less, do more, say more. Now, he may not be spending as much attention or time on his clothing as the Park Avenue fashionista tottering by on her stilletos, but his statement is as loud and clear as hers is. Fashion has become a signifier of identity; even going around buck naked says something about you.

I think that we always envision the death of fashion. As Jerry Seinfeld said, we always portray the future as fashion-less--everyone dressed in avant-garde, angdrogynous jumpsuits, usually in unassuming shades of gray and blue. But the 21st century fox doesn't seem to have any limits in his/her wardrobe. You can cover up, reveal, dye, pierce, inject, paint or tattoo anything. It is an industry; it keep growing. The assumption of the 2001 Space Odyssey glamazon had better things on her mind than to think about her clothes. That was the assumption from many post 9/11 too, but guess what? Fashion adapted.

It is obviously superficial to think about clothes. But humans, especially now, react superficially; decisions about whether you like someone takes place in the first ten seconds ofmeeting. Are you looking into their soul or at their shoes? Body language counts for more than 60% of the message you convey. Why wear something that makes you uncomfortable Your clothes-- until a nuclear apocalypse makes us reconsider the superficiality our materialistic ways--still tell your story.

It seems to me that instead of dying, fashion is curving in on itself, like one of those wierd fractal equations that describe a fourth dimensions. (Mathematicians: my most humble apology for that last sentence. Bear with me.) Corsets show no signs of going away, joining by another ancient fashion totem (and torture device) the foot-binding stilleto. Empire dresses straight out Austen are back, and Victorian lace drips over everything. Sleeves are puffed. Instead of reaching towards the future, fashion going back in time, reinventing and reinterpreting the past.

Witness Mythologick, a new brand that blurs all the distinctions between past and present, East and West, real and imagined, handmade and computer generated. There are three designs, available in t-shirts, tanks, baseball-style tops, in a ridiculous array of colors. Contemplate the following, with my interpretations. (Get the site's own description by clicking on the link).

Ganymede: "Beautiful Trojan prince. Kidnapped by eagles, whisked away to heaven to be the cupbearer to the gods. Oh, the eagle was Zeus and he was in love with the boy. Cupbearers never

The eagles are Japanese, and the bulging muscles on the falling boy would
make Camille Paglia swoon. The figure holding the lotus is reminiscent
of Atlas with the world on his shoulders, but the lotus means much more
than that. In Buddhist mythology, a lotus sprouted when the Buddha
reached enlightenment; in Hindu mythology, it means rebirth. Ganymede,
floating high above the flames of Troy, is a flower plucked from the
East, flying to a higher place. In black the destination seems less certain...the figures lose their organic green and become pewter, like statues. is Ganymede leaving or coming home? The lotus beckons, but is bludgeoned by the god of war, and the eagles take fiery flight. CLICK THE ABOVE LINK FOR MORE COLORS, MORE STYLES, MORE INTERPRETATIONS.

2. Orpheus: "A love story full of cosmic music and poetry. A love so strong it transcended life and death. Well...maybe not death."

On a bed of paisley greens, Orpheus looks tempted by a noticeably masculine hand--since when did Eurydice have such prominent knuckles? Or do we have it backwards, with a flat-chested Eurydice reaching for her music-loving husband's hand...

In black the greens are less organic and more neon--Orpheus looks tempted by the nightlife, wanting to boogie. Look at those innocent eyes....but how long are those robes going to stay on, anyway? Maybe there's something to the music of the Dark Side, this Mordor...Contrary to the myth, he may give in. Orpheus, so pure, so holy in his angel wings, seems caught by the intricacies of the Far East, the paisleys licking like hellfire flames. How far, how low, will he go? CLICK LINK ABOVE FOR MORE ORPHEUS AND EURDYICE.

3. Minerva: "Full grown and in full armor, she sprang forth from her father's skull. the first of many headaches he would have over her."Confession time. Mythologick is designed by my absurdly talented brother, and I think Minerva is about me. First of all, he well knows that I had always identified with Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, on whom Minerva was based. A warrior goddess, associated with the arts, with wit, with besting the men in her family? Naturally. Second, there is, of course, the innate confusion of the design. This is not Minerva, but the Hindu Goddess Durga--another warrior goddess, born as an adult, in full armor, to vanquish demons. Can one warrior goddess merge with another? In black, her many arms fan in technicolor glory; she is pink like a rose, red like blood. My favorite colors. CLICK LINK ABOVE FOR MORE VERSIONS OF THE DEADLY GODDESS.

And there's just something about the phrase "The first of many headaches he'd have over her." Don't know what it is.

Sure, he's my brother, and that's why I'm pimping his shirts...but take another look. The future of fashion is in computer artisanship; using technology to expand fashion, not limit it.

Be useful. By a shirt. You clothes are making a statement anyway.


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