Monday, November 10, 2014


    Before we can have a statement to make, before we can assemble garments into a coherent sentence, we must first have fabrics from which to make them.  It is this, that is the jumping off point for all Attire conversation.  It is by the weave structure, color, texture, density, and movement of those textiles that the first bits of communication happen. 
    A single design, rendered multiply in different textiles of precisely the same color, becomes a series of connected, but differing sartorial words.  Think for a moment about a humble pair of blue jeans.
We all know intimately how denim feels, how it looks, how it moves, and the sorts of things its capable of communicating.  But take that identical garment pattern and make it in indigo leather, or indigo satin, or indigo silk chiffon, and the statement made is radically different each time. So, its the fabric that is the single most critical base point for how and what gets said by a garment, or set of clothes.
    Even before we decide on color, the actual physical structure of that fabric is the alpha point, the genesis point for everything that comes afterwards.  In fact, we often can look at a garment and imagine it in another color, and realize that it might communicate more effectively that way.  I posted an image in Scatter 29, last Saturday, that spoke to exactly that condition.  It was not the textile that made it problematic, but the color.  The fabric itself was beguiling.  So it wasn't the starting point that was in error. The communication problem happened later in the process.
    The way that a fabric moves over the body, because of its woven, felted or extruded structure, contributes the first bits of information we get in the Attire statement presented.  Is that fabric stiff and unyielding?  Is it softly fluid? Does it reveal or conceal the body? Is it texturally interesting?  all these questions get instantly posed, before we even note the rest of the story being told us.
   So, with all that said, here are some things to ponder.  Take a look at these images and think about what the fabrics themselves communicate, devoid of their colors or decorative elements.  Break it all apart if you can, and get back to the baseline.

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