Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Simplicity of Design; Back to the Earth!

The real beauty of design today can be found in the simplicity of the past. The new counter culture of design contrasts sharply against the overwrought Ed Hardy styles of Los Angeles. There is a counter culture bubbling in the fashion world of brave designer/producers that are willing to look past the easy path of Chinese production and corporate reification for a hands on craftsman's approach to fashion. This counter movement often captures the imagination of the big fashion producers like Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie who seek to imitate and create mini lines of clothing trying to capture this authenticity without the process required to actually have the character of the "craftsman". There are no shortcuts, and branding does not make up for small batch production and passion for fashion. These pictures may seem to have little in common but many of the features of these very unique items are being recreated by craftspeople across the globe. The simple 1930's triangular expansion gusset, which shows up on the sides of early jackets or in the neck and armpits of early sweatshirts is both a beautiful and practical feature. It was replaced by lycra banding and bi-swing backs which were more efficient in the 1940s and 1950s. See how the sole of a work boot was simply a "nail delivery system" with some nice "Branding" for traction! Between single stitching and simple graphics these have become the new characteristics of the "new craftsman"!