Thursday, June 18, 2009

Urbanity, Technology and Primitives

Primitivism by its nature connotes a naivete, or lack of skills or knowledge as compared to a modern norm. Today's modernity is tomorrows primitive, simplistic childishness. The truth is modernity can only really go so far. The human body doesn't change its shape. Paradigms are altered by technologies and advancing materials. The great leap forward in leather came fast on the heals of the invention of the sewing machine. Before the collaborative efforts of the sewing machine, individuals had to make their own clothing. Sitting at home copying some European model of a dress or jacket, or inventing a pattern that fell nicely on the human physique the designs were intuitive and often involved practicality and issues like saving materials and keeping seams simple for ease of sewing.
With the 19th century spike of Jewish immigration to North America, people with tailoring as their skill set powered a drive that created the new technology of the zipper, sewing machine and other such innovations. This powered the engine of a commercial "schemata" business. A man or woman with many languages, a small apartment and a couple of machines could start designing and producing small lines of clothing for the waves of new immigrants and industry growing in North America. This was a golden time of innovation, where designs and ideas were discovered and helped create and standardize the roots of modern clothing. Just check out these primitive designs, there almost seems to be design progression in the clothing and its complexities.