Recently I feel like I’m finally tired of everything ‘designers’, I mean, in quite a broad sense of word. For work, I have to look at a lot of ‘new’ stuff that comes every few month from different fashion brands as well as countless examples of ‘new’ furniture of interior designs, but I found very few of it to be really exciting. It’s not like I pretend to be a spoiled critic of everything, I’m rather an overwhelmed observer as I’m tired of things that supposed to ‘wow’ or ‘attract’, catch my attention or whatever.
Now I choose everything that is blank and purely functional. It’s not minimalism or classic, but rather ‘blank-ness’, ‘basic-ness’ of appearance. It’s this point of no reference which were once so perfectly described by Gibson in his ‘Pattern recognition’ novel. For example today many fashion brands that considered to be minimalistic, like Celine or Calvin Klein, produce rather simple, ‘clean’ designs but always with a twist, be it a futuristic fabric or some ‘sharp’ detailing. After all this kind of design is very 2010s while the things that I’m talking about couldn’t be clearly identified with the specific period of time – as much as it’s not about past it’s neither about ‘present’ or ‘future’ but rather about timelessness. And honestly, with most brands producing about a minimum of 4 collections a year the concept of anything ‘new’ or ‘designer’ has clearly devaluated. There’s such a mess of gazillion collections per season, special editions, artist/designer collaborations, exhibitions, special videos that you just want to stay away from all this. I noticed that recently all my Jils and Balenciagas are sitting in my closet, while I’m wearing blue jeans and GAP tshirts.
Also, today, thanks to the Internet , much more people are aware about the fashion trends, brands and its collections etc. That’s why it seems to me that today people more and more are identified and judged by what they wear. Of course it’s been there long before the digital era etc. but it became worse than ever these days. There could be no logo but still most of the pieces are very recognizable. I mean that whatever you wear people will always try to put a label on you – no matter wether you’re sporting a must have from the recent major runway or some second-hand stuff – it will be a certain reference which will inform the way in which you’ll be perceived by others. It’s like there’s too much context to everything. Probably that’s why I feel urge to wear the most neutral things, the ones that won’t give any information about you so you’ll be perceived for what you are. Maybe this way the shift will be on a person, not clothes.
Talking about this those ‘basic’ things, probably the best way to describe what I’m talking about would be to say that it’s extremely neutral-looking things. The only quality by which they could be defined is that they couldn’t be defined. You couldn’t tell the brand or year it’s been produced, nor the price range. It’s just ‘things’ – a skirt, a chair, a bottle. Each thing being a sort of an arithmetical mean of it’s category. This kind of design requires an immense attention to details in order to keep this ‘anonymity’ – all the stitching, detailing, textures should be mere and rigorous.
On a side note – same feelings go for the interior&product design. For example recently I’ve been visiting a few restaurants and cafes all of which made a very good impression on me, but when I started to analyze what exactly did I like about them except the good food, one of the first things that came to mind was that all of them had very basic, neutral decor – white walls, simple wooden furniture, etc. There was no single ‘designer’ item in it or at least nothing that looked like it was ‘designer’, nothing to distract you from your meal and from your company.
p/s in this context it’s also interesting to remember a sort of a trend for tear off the labels from designer clothes which considered to be ‘cool’ in mid-00s though I always thought it to be a way to show-off.