Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Changing Views

    Using a blend of the traditional forms of her native Austria, classic menswear shapes, and a gently avant garde mindset that subtly stretches forms, and includes less expected textiles, young designer, Tina Elisabeth Reiter is starting her career off asking questions about how we will navigate this increasingly globalized culture; and what that will mean for us in terms of where we call our home place, and what that home comes to mean, in time.
    In looking at this collection which was her graduate presentation, and eventually got her awarded menswear collection of the year, I was struck by the gentility of it all.  Where so many younger designers are looking with gloom into the future of our world, Ms Reiter seems to be gazing in another direction entirely.  Yes, these are not playful clothes. The world we live in is a less playful one just now, and with the concerns we all have about our tenancy here growing daily, a ground level seriousness seems right.  Serious they may be, but they are not depressive, or overly introspective. These are garments to be worn by a person willing to engage the world, not hide from it; someone willing to work.
    Her larger question about how we will steer ourselves further into the 21st century is an important one.  And as the Attire language will always manifest the subtle shifts under the surface of society, its worthy to look at these designs, and ponder a moment about how we are going to adapt.
    I live in California, now facing a drought of as yet unprecedented scope, that may not be over for a long time, if ever.  We may be looking at a series of changes that will twist this beautiful state into another social shape, and completely alter its economy.  How we react to that, how any place reacts to significant alteration, such as the globalization of our world's cultures, will be seen, and felt, in the way we accoutre ourselves.
    Surely one thing that is going to change, whether we wish it or not, is that our addiction to the new for its own sake will have to stop. It may stop because we change our habits, but its more likely that it will stop, because we no longer have the wherewithal.  So the clothing that does get presented will, like these garments, have to possess an innate practicality.  And that will need to be coupled with long term wearability.  If we cannot make as many clothes, because the resources must be husbanded more carefully; then those that are made, must be made to last.  And since we want to look good in the process, a kind of timelessness could emerge to the shapes, and forms that get worn.

    Along with that, the losing of a sense of home place, because we have become nations full of people who don't stay near where we were born to a great extent, will make itself felt too, in how we fold our clothes about us.  How that could play out is anyone's guess.  Some might cleave more frantically to a fantasy of nation, or hometown: while others might eschew such things altogether, making of themselves, world citizens, who visually inhabit all places at once. Whichever of these scenarios, or others I haven't posited, come to pass, is of no matter here.  The posit is this. We are changing, whether we wish to or not.  Change happens. The wise person moves with change as much as may be. The unwise person holds fast to old ways of thinking, and gets edited out of the system as no longer viable.  It is up to each, and all of us, to choose which of those things will apply to us personally.  And,  because I am a man who wants the best for everyone, I can only hope we will choose most wisely, not just for our own selves, but for this tiny place we call home.
As a possibility for how this will all look in the next years, this collection is as good a way of seeing as any.  It has one advantage over very many others that I perceive, though.  It is a vision with hope.  Without this essential ingredient, we cannot possibly survive whatever the future brings to our door.  And I will leave you with this.
    I will, in my own small way,  always give you hope.

Post script.
My thanks to the love of my life, Jim.


  1. After your loving and poignant philosophizing, it almost feels crass to talk about the clothes - you've upstaged the clothes! : ) And it's deep, what you speak of....

    But. I - really - like what I see here. With the exception of the drop-shoulder puffy sleeves, I love all of this. I especially love the three long coats, and most especially the last image, the long coat with the pleated skirt; I want that!

  2. Thanks so much, as always, for your comments, and your sweet compliments. You are much appreciated, sir.

    And yeah, I really dig most of this collection, like, a lot.