Saturday, July 19, 2008

San Francisco Street

Photos by Vanguard - San Francisco

So, if the idea is that we can transform typical pieces enough to fill them with new ideas and individual identity, then the question is: how far do we need to transform or reinvent typical pieces in order for them to achieve this new idea?

Above we have a dress shirt – a symbol of men’s fashion – but here it is Raf Simons-ified. This piece is inflated beyond possibility. Hanging down to the knees and exaggerating the sheerness of men’s white button downs to near transparency (does it piss off anyone else that you can always see through white dress shirts?). Here, the symbols have stayed the same: collar, white fabric, button down, tails, cuffs. But through their exaggeration the form itself has been changed.

Above we have two more typical men’s fashion pieces: the hoodie and baseball cap. These pieces, however, change the material and construction in order to set themselves apart. The form of the hoodie has not changed, but by piecing it together with boldly contrasting colors it is changed enough to alter our perception of the piece. In a way, the lines created by the piecing allow the hoodie to be at first perceived as a different form altogether. The baseball cap is a form nostalgic irony by keeping it the same archetypal symbol but finishing it in and unexpected yellow patent leather.

I like these photos for their accessible inspiration. Yes, the garments pictured are designer, but any person in any town with any sum of money can easily reproduce these ideas in many ways with a bit of hunting and some time at the sewing machine. Meanwhile, by keeping basic and typical forms, it allows men even in towns and villages with the smallest fashion perception to express themselves with less potential of being ostracized or burnt at the stake by the townsfolk.

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