26 April 2013

Good Design?

The relationship between design and fashion is fraught with complications. Design seeks to answer a need, fashion seeks to answer nothing but itself. But rather than seeking to separate the two camps, looking at the process of designing garments from a functional standpoint is a fascinating study, and one which encompasses a wealth of diversity.

Where fashion is concerned it is aesthetic that reigns supreme. Now whether this aesthetic is derived from the inherent functional requirements of the garment and its construction, or instead seeks to operate outside or beyond that functionality (I think both approaches are equally interesting), the idea of good design does not necessarily equate to good fashion. Think for example of technical clothing - functionally brilliant, but not really fashionable. However that does not always have to be the case. One could take a designer such as Aitor Throup, whose technical innovation creates an aesthetic and product that is incredibly fashion forward (I dislike that term, but for this purpose it seems most appropriate).

We find that people talk of timeless design, or classic design, alluding to the idea of some archetype of design that a well-designed garment ostensibly fulfils. I am not sure there is really an archetype for any garment, even those as iconic as a white t-shirt or blue denim jeans (just take a look at the variation of a pair of Levis 501 over the decades). The closest we can really get to an archetype is more to do with a general style of garment, e.g. "trousers" - a bifurcated garment that covers the lower half of the body; or a socially constructed iconic style, e.g. tie-dye shirts with all their cultural and historical implications.

Rather than thinking about archetypical designs, I would rather focus on good design, whatever form it may take - functionality, innovation, aesthetics, etc. A beautifully hand-embroidered and fragile dress can be just as worthy of that label as a technically innovative pair of running shoes using the latest and greatest technology. I think that most wardrobes actually have room for both (or more) interpretations. It is of course however down to the individual to find those common threads between them, which, oddly enough, is ordinarily some sense of shared aesthetic. As such I think aesthetic must necessarily be included in one's classification of good design, or to be more precise, useful design (in the sense that it works within the remit of one's wardrobe).

Now when we consider styles of garment, it is important to seek out what we classify as good design. For although the idea may be the same behind those garments grouped within the same style (e.g. white t-shirt), there is all manner of individual designs and ideas contained therein. A white t-shirt sounds simple enough, but no white t-shirt will work on all people, and so we must make individual choices. Obviously good design can stand independently of whether the garment works on our own body and wardrobe, but when it comes to what we buy and wear, I think we have to look for the garments that can be most practically and enjoyably be incorporated into our everyday lives. Thus we consider whether the cut works for our body as we wish, whether the fabric is durable and practical for our climate and needs, whether the stylistic details are suitable for our mode of wear, and so on.

It is above all a personal choice, and one that relies on what we specifically want and need out of a garment. After all, it will inevitably be worn on our own bodies and used in our day-to-day lives, so why settle for less?

The neckline is reinforced with cloth tape to make it more hardwearing. Like the t-shirt it is made from a soft organic cotton, meaning that it is comfortable against the neck. The size tag is also made from soft cotton, so you can not actually feel it, which is always a nice feature.

Turn the t-shirt inside out and you notice the extra fabric along the shoulder seam providing extra durability and a far more comfortable fit. I have had t-shirts in the past that had quite a noticeable shoulder seam on the interior that could get rather annoying after some time, but so far this has been fine.

The breast pocket is actually made up of two compartments - a pen pocket and a standard pocket, both of which have a reinforced bottom to make them more durable. The pen pocket fits any standard size pen, from ballpoints, to Muji gel pens, to the Lamy 2000 fountain pen pictured above. The main pocket is just the right side for a Muji cardholder, which is actually in the pocket above, but also works just as well for a folded handkerchief.

The side split hems are reinforced with cloth tape, and you will notice that the back of the garment runs slightly longer than the front, providing that extra bit of coverage. What I have noticed is that when sitting down the front portion does tend to roll up, which can remain after you stand up again, but usually I tend to flatten my tops upon standing anyway.

T-shirt: Muji Labo (organic cotton)
Trousers: Yohji Yamamoto Pour Homme (linen/cotton blend)
Ring: Sheena Miyake (oxidised silver)

...and of course I bought it in black too.



  1. Wahhh~ I became happy by your photo❤ You are so handsome,Syed.

  2. Have you heard that Marc Jacobs has been stalking a young designer for 5 years? She is called Angel Barta. Jacobs stole her designes during a heterosexual affair. Jacobs keeps her in psycho-terror. Read the story with evidences on her blog and spread the truth, help! http://styleangelique.blogspot.hu/2013/03/marc-jacobs-thief-of-century-who.html

  3. Love the overall design. The black is awsome!

  4. saat ini kebanyakan pria yang kesepian jauh dengan pasangannya yang dikarenakan tuntutan pekerjaan maka dari itu kami memberikan solusi agar anda semua tidak merasa jenuh dan membosankan adapun alat bantu sex pria yang kami tawarkan sangat beragam. Tapi yang jelas semuanya aman dan bebas penyakit.