15 July 2011

A Shirt

Ann Demeulemeester
Fall/Winter 2011
Cotone Shirt
(images via LN-CC)

It was one of those moments when you see something that immediately calls out to you, and so you approach it, only to have to leave the moment you do so.  The image stays with you, you remember it, and it seems to flower inside your mind.  As time passes it grows into something ever more beautiful.  You tell yourself that you will soon return to give it your full attention - to hold it, to try it on, to take it away with you.  The image you construct is an image based upon what you saw, but it becomes more than that.  It becomes a dream, a fantasy, better than it was because you give it full meaning.  What you hold onto is nothing but an image, barely tangible, and yet what it is connected to is itself just as elusive.  If seeing is believing, than surely touching is worship.  Such grandiose terms for an attraction to a mere material object?  And why not?  "To be modern is to tear the soul out of everything", but I yearn for that soul.  Perhaps it is more than just a material object.  If not to others, then to me, and that is all that matters.

A shirt is a shirt is a shirt, but when you put it on it transforms you.  Not creating some unknown, but drawing out something you always wanted to be there, and maybe it was, but you just never knew how to express it.  Fashion has become one of the central ways in which we negotiate our identity, but what is that identity?  The modern self is a reflexive self, and in the practice of dressing we are engaging with the tension between artifice and authenticity - do we dress to present an image or to express some sense of true self?  How do we even know that it will be interpreted as such?  It is not just the shirt that is important, but the ideas and meanings behind it - those that are already there, but more importantly, those that you bring to it.  How can a piece of cloth be invested with such great meaning and importance?  It is just a piece of cloth, but because of how you perceive it, it will always be anything but.  A dream, a memory, a moment, a feeling, a piece of you.  Forget about trends, forget about style, forget about trying to express, just think about what you find beautiful and try to share that.



  1. mmmmhmmm. quoting this on twitterrr!

  2. These are gorgeous! Most times a shirt can make a man..unless you are Johnny Flynn..and well, he makes the shirt.

  3. It's always worth it when the piece is an investment that you will wear again and again in different situations. >_<


  4. A lovely, thoughtful read.

    "do we dress to present an image or to express some sense of true self?" What a question DK! It has stopped my brain momentarilly trying to think about my true aim when I get dressed in the morning. I think, like a lot of things in life, it depends. It depends on the situation, climate, finances, mood etc.

  5. beautifully written post.

    i tend to accociate clothes with events in my life, maybe just a nice day out or something but when it makes me feel good and the day is good....well it's all good.

  6. This is very true, I can get so lost in simplicity.

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