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Akari Tachibana
"​​Born and raised in Japan and moved to San Francisco to learn Fashion Design in 2010. All the clothes are handmade by Akari Tachibana from design to finish in San Francisco. Striving to design and make durable garments that can be worn for 20-plus years and develop their own character with the wearer.​"

[See also: http://akaritachibana.tumblr.com/ ]
sanfrancisco  glvo  akaritachibana  fashion  clothing  uniformproject 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Alice Gregory on Finding a Uniform – J.Crew Blog
"I’ve always wanted a uniform. Low maintenance and iconic, it’s a cheap and easy way to feel famous. I have an ex-boyfriend whose mother wore nothing but stripe shirts. She had what must have been hundreds of them. I never saw her in anything else. For years afterward, I tried fruitlessly to get my own mother to adopt a uniform too.

If there’s ever a time to buy impractical shoes, wear revealing tops or make regrettable purchases, it’s when you’re young, and until very recently, I didn’t feel old enough to wear the same thing every day. It’s the same reason I still have long hair: I’d love to cut it, but doing so would feel like a waste of youth.

But young adulthood is also a time when, by virtue of the mere absence of wrinkles and grey hair, one projects very little power. It’s hard to be taken seriously without the visible symptoms of experience. A uniform can be a way of performing maturity or, less charitably, impersonating it. A uniform insinuates the sort of sober priorities that ossify with age, as well as a deliberate past of editing and improving. There is a purpose to each item, and with each item comes the implication of superiority—that it is, for your purposes at least, Platonic.

When the weather permits—and it does in New York from September to May—I wear a black cotton turtleneck, skinny blue jeans that (crucially) are not tight and a pair of black boots. My hair, I have decided, is my main accessory. If it’s cold and dry, I wear a camel coat. If it’s cold and wet, I wear a black down rain jacket. It is the most comfortable, flattering and inoffensive outfit I’ve been able to come up with. It’s almost never inappropriate, and it has the magical quality of taking on the connotations of its surroundings. In a bookstore, I look bookish. At an art gallery, I look arty. On the subway, I am invisible. I can look young or old, rich or poor, cool or humble. In my uniform, people see me as they want to.

Wearing a uniform is also a way of asserting your status as a protagonist. This is the reason why characters in picture books never change their clothes: Children—like adults, if they’d only admit it—crave continuity. We recognize Babar in his green suit and crown, Eloise in her suspendered jumper and Madeline in her little yellow raincoat. In other clothes, we’d confuse Babar for some civilian elephant, Eloise for one of Manhattan’s innumerable spoiled brats and Madeline for another of the 12 little girls in two straight lines.

You save a lot of money by relinquishing trial-and-error shopping—those items you buy and never wear, try and fail to return. Gone is the mental math that goes into calculating how much you “paid per wear” for that sweater you only put on three times. And nobody thinks of a person who wears the same thing every day as unstylish. Rather, it’s simply a classification that does not apply.

If you too are a person for whom the idea of expressing yourself through clothes feels embarrassing or even just inefficient, then I recommend you find a uniform of your own. There will be some inevitable missteps, but the end result will be worth the effort. Think of it as shopping so you’ll never have to shop again.

Alice Gregory is a writer living in Brooklyn. She has contributed to Harper’s, GQ, n+1, New York Magazine and the New York Times, among others. "
uniforms  personaluniforms  uniformproject  alicegrecory  2014  clothing  fashion  clothes 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Close at Hand — Medium
"In a very real way, what people tuck into their pockets signals what they care about. Ötzi the Iceman carried fungus to make fire. Japanese men in the Edo period carried medicine and seals. Queen Elizabeth I carried a miniature jewel-encrusted devotional book. European women in the 18th century carried money, jewelry, personal grooming implements, and even food. Here in 2015, we carry cellphones?--?never letting them out of our sight.

If what we put in our pockets is important, to advertise a product as pocketable is to imply that it's indispensable: something you'll always want by your side. Pocket watch manufacturers adopted this approach early; purveyors of pocket knives, pocket handkerchiefs, and pocket books (also known as paperbacks) followed suit. Technologies all, these tools still seem primitive relative to slim electronic bricks we haul around today. To find a direct ancestor of the cellphone, we need only look back as far as 1970: the year the pocket calculator was born."



"Pockets matter because they’re personal. What we wear at our waists is at least as intimate as what we wear on our wrists, and what we’ve worn there over the centuries tells us a lot about who we are, how we’ve changed, and how we’ve stayed the same. We’re greedy; we’re vain; we’re hungry; we’re late. We want to start fires and listen to a thousand songs."

[via: http://kottke.org/15/09/the-history-of-technology-is-the-history-of-pockets ]
dianakimball  pockets  history  clothing  clothes  wearable  wearables  technology  2015  uniformproject  via:audreywatters 
september 2015 by robertogreco
threadbared
"THREADBARED is an evolving collaboration between two clotheshorse academics to discuss the politics, aesthetics, histories, theories, cultures and subcultures that go by the names “fashion” and “beauty.” With commentary on how clothes matter, as well as book and exhibit reviews and interviews with scholars and artists, THREADBARED considers the critical importance of taking clothes –and the bodies that design, manufacture, disseminate, and wear them– seriously as an entry point into dialogue about the world around us.

We welcome queries relating to public comments, invited talks, commissioned essays, and books, films, and videos for review on THREADBARED! Check out our press, and book us for your event.

Please email us at threadbared dot matters at gmail dot com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Mimi Thi Nguyen is an associate professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her first book, The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages, focuses on the promise of “giving” freedom concurrent and contingent on waging war and its afterlife. (Duke University Press, Fall 2012). With her second project on the obligations of beauty, she continues to pursue her scholarship through the frame of transnational feminist cultural studies, and in particular as an untangling of the liberal way of war that pledges “aid,” freedom, movement, and other social goods. She is co-editor with Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu of Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America (Duke University Press, 2007), and co-editor with Fiona I.B. Ngo and Mariam Lam of a special issue of positions: east asia cultures critique on Southeast Asian diasporas (2012). A former zinester, Punk Planet columnist, and Maximumrocknroll shitworker, she is widely published on punk and queer subcultures and also blogs at Thread & Circuits, where you can find all her old columns and some zine writings archived. For more about Nguyen, see here.

Minh-Ha T. Pham is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Media Studies Program at Pratt Institute. Before coming to Pratt, she was an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies and Asian American Studies at Cornell University. Her first book, Asians Who Wear Clothes on the Internet: Race, Gender, and the Work of Personal Style Blogging, is forthcoming from Duke University Press in Fall/Winter 2015. Her writings on the politics of fashion, fashion technology, and consumption have been published in a wide range of academic journals and popular magazines. She also blogs at the Huffington Post and Of Another Fashion. And now, you can follow her on Twitter (@minh81)! For more information, click here."
mimithinguyen  fashion  blogs  minh-hatpham  glvo  clothing  clothes  wearables  uniformproject  politics  subcultures  aesthetics  beauty 
august 2015 by robertogreco
MIMI THI NGUYEN /// Epidermalization of the Public Body: Clothing and Politics « ARCHIPELAGO | The Podcast Platform of the Funambulist
[Now here: https://thefunambulist.net/podcast/mimi-thi-nguyen-fashion-design-01-clothing-and-politics-the-appearance-of-the-public-body ]

[On SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/the-archipelago/1005-mimi-thi-nguyen
via: http://www.husci.org/cal/2015/7/30/the-archipelago ]

"EPIDERMALIZATION OF THE PUBLIC BODY: CLOTHING AND POLITICS
Conversation recorded with Mimi Thi Nguyen in New York on October 5, 2013.

Nothing of what we wear is politically innocent. Our clothing constitutes the skin of our public body, what Mimi Thi Nguyen calls its “epidermalization.” This public body is read through a set of norms and expectations that crystallize society’s ostracism. Mimi and I talked about normative processes that unfold themselves through clothing (the hoody, the veil, the sweatpants), as well as neo-colonial politics implemented in the various American military operations in countries like Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Mimi Thi Nguyen is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of The Gift of Freedom (see below) and the coeditor of Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America (Duke University Press). She is the co-editor of the blog Threadbared (along with Minh-Ha T. Pham) that questions the relationships between fashion and politics.

WEBSITES:

- http://mimithinguyen.com/
http://threadandcircuits.wordpress.com/
http://iheartthreadbared.wordpress.com

ARTICLES QUOTED:

– “Teaching: Brief Notes on the Unreliable Stories Clothes Tell”
– “The Hoodie as a Sign, Screen, Expectation, and Force”
– “Clothes Epidermalized, as Republican Representative Targets “Illegals””
– “You Say You Want A Revolution (In a Loose Headscarf)”
– “Sartorial Classification as a Weapon of War”

REFERENCE BOOKS:

– Mimi Thi Nguyen, The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages, Durham: Duke University Press, 2012.
– Mimi Thi Nguyen and Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu, Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America, Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.
– Leila Ahmed, A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.
– Minoo Moallem, Between Warrior Brother and Veiled Sister: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Politics of Patriarchy in Iran, Berkeley: University of California, 2005.

SYNTHESIS ARTICLE ON THE FUNAMBULIST:

– “Epidermalization of the Public Body: Archipelago with Mimi Thi Nguyen”"
clothing  mimithinguyen  2015  clothes  uniformproject  hoodies  politics  epidermalization  vietnam  afghanistan  threadbared  minh-hatpham  sandiego  race  trayvonmartin  body  bodies  léopoldlambert  crime  criminology  racialprofiling 
august 2015 by robertogreco
Letter of Recommendation: New Balance 990s - The New York Times
"The thing about 990s is this: Not only are they comfortable to wear, their whole history speaks to the value of comfort — comfort with yourself, comfort with your surroundings. Nothing about the 990 has ever really changed: not the high price (they’re now $179.99), not the design, not the fact that they’re made in America. Plenty has happened since 1982, but nothing that has managed to make the 990 budge. (Well, maybe a little. The most recent pair I bought was black.) To me 990s symbolize the simple fact that it’s O.K. to just make up your mind about something and never look back."
personaluniforms  uniforms  uniformproject  shoes  newbalance  newbalance990s  2015  nathandeuel  via:mattthomas 
july 2015 by robertogreco
The Next Black - A film about the Future of Clothing - YouTube
"The Next Black' is a documentary film that explores the future of clothing. Watch as we meet with some of the most innovative companies on the planet to get their opinion on clothing and its future, including: heroes of sustainability, Patagonia; tech-clothing giants, Studio XO; sportswear icon, adidas; and Biocouture, a consultancy exploring living organisms to grow clothing and accessories.

Learn more about the project: http://www.aeg-home.com/thenextblack

Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter and on the hashtag #thenextblack

https://www.facebook.com/pages/AEG-Global/586037381449750
https://twitter.com/aeg_global "

[See also:
http://www.studio-xo.com/
http://www.biocouture.co.uk/
http://www.patagonia.com/us/worn-wear
https://www.ifixit.com/Patagonia
http://www.patagonia.com/us/worn-wear-repairs
http://www.patagonia.com/email/11/112811.html
http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=106223
http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-patagonia-136745
https://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=2388
http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-11-25/patagonias-confusing-and-effective-campaign-to-grudgingly-sell-stuff ]
design  documentary  fashion  video  clothes  clothing  glvo  reuse  mending  repair  materials  textiles  studioxo  biocouture  adidas  patagonia  recycling  waste  consumerism  consumption  capitalism  biology  wearable  wearables  suzannelee  technology  nancytilbury  suzanne  slow  slowfashion  fastfashion  dyes  dying  industry  manufacturing  globalization  environment  rickridgeway  uniformproject  customization  ifixit  diy  alteration  resuse  repairing 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Spinoza in a T-Shirt – The New Inquiry
"This is the social and ethical function of design standardization: to assign and put bodies in their “proper” place. Standardized design creates violent relations between bodies and environments. The intensity of violence the standard body brings to bear on an individual’s body is measured in that body’s difference and distance from the standard. A chair that is too high, a beam too low, a corridor too narrow acts on the body forcefully and with a force that is unevenly distributed. Bodies that are farther from the standard body bear the weight of these forces more heavily than those that are closer to the arbitrary standard. But to resolve this design problem does not mean that we need a more-inclusive approach to design. The very idea of inclusion, of opening up and expanding the conceptual parameters of human bodies, depends for its logic and operation on the existence of parameters in the first place. In other words, a more inclusive approach to design remains fundamentally exclusive in its logic.

If Spinoza’s critical question points us toward an understanding of what standardized design does wrong, it also indicates how to get it right. The works of fashion designer Rei Kawakubo and of the artists-architects Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins are the result of materialist practices that reflect the Spinozist principle of not knowing what a body is. Their approach to design is based not so much on what the designers claim to know about the body, but instead on what they ignore. Their approaches refuse predetermined conceptualizations of what a body is and what a body can do. For instance, Kawakubo’s “bumpy” dresses (from the highly celebrated “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” Comme Des Garcons Spring/Summer 1997 collection) form a cloth+body assemblage that challenges preconceived ideas of the body and of beauty. At a larger scale, Arakawa and Gins’ Mitaka Lofts in Tokyo and Yoro Park in Gifu prefecture deny any predetermined category of the body in favor of a profound ignorance of what makes a body a body at all.

These designs can have profound sociopolitical effects. Momoyo Homma (the director of the architects’ Tokyo office) relates how her mother, who normally cannot walk without her cane, had no problems navigating the bumpy floor of the Mitaka Lofts. Homma’s mother’s experience does not mean that the Mitaka Lofts are a miraculous instrument that would resuscitate a septuagenarian’s ability to walk without a cane. It reveals that her body only needs a cane in environments designed for bodies that differ substantially from hers.

The cane, itself a designed object, is a clear marker of the differential (often antagonistic) relations that design produces between bodies and spaces/places, and between non-standard and standard bodies. As a prosthesis, the cane’s purpose is to “correct” the non-standard body so that its functions reflect as closely as possible a fidelity with the “normal” body. Arakawa and Gins’ architecture offers an environment where the non-standard body does not need a “corrective,” since the environment’s design is not structured around what they think a body is.

Spinoza’s question—what can a body do?—insists that we set aside preconceived and normative notions of what a body is. Arakawa and Gins’ architecture suggests a slight but significant revision: Rather than conceptualizing bodies from the position of not knowing what they are, we should begin from the position that we don’t know what bodies are not. The double-negative allows a crucial correction to the Spinozist account of the body.

Spinoza’s question delays conceptualizations of the body, but it still doesn’t do away with normative formulations of the body. Affirming an ignorance of something presupposes that what is ignored could be actually known. “We don’t know what a body is” implicitly suggests that a holistic knowledge of what a body is actually exists—we just don’t presume to know it (yet).

The position of “not presuming” is too close to the liberal stance of having tolerance for difference—a position of liberal multiculturalism we find suspicious. The problem with liberal tolerance is that it already assumes and takes up a position of power. The designer is in the privileged position of being tolerant of another, and of designating who is deserving of tolerance. Whether the presumption is to know or not know the body, it is either way an act of the designer’s agency since knowing/unknowing the body is realized exclusively in the design of the garment, room, chair, table, etc. The power of the designer remains intact either way.

Alternatively, to not know what a body isn’t does more than suspend or delay normalizing conceptualizations of the body. It refuses such total claims of body knowledge at all. Just as the double-negative construction becomes affirmative, not knowing what a body isn’t affirms all bodies by doing away with the ideal of the normative body altogether. To not know what a body isn’t means that the idea of the body is infinitely open, rather than just momentarily open. To not know what a body isn’t means that all bodies are equally valid modes and forms of embodiment. Nothing is “not a body” and so everything is a body. This is not a philosophical issue but a political problem. What is a body? What is a human body? These are philosophical treatises that do not address our concern with how built environments empower some bodies and disempower others according to a set of “universal” design presumptions and methods.

By shifting our focus from what a body is to what a body can do, we can begin to explore the political—sometimes violent—relations of bodies, objects, and environments that are produced and maintained through standard design practices and knowledge. How might a collaborative relation of body and environment create the potential for a more non-hierarchical architecture? How might it build one that frees all bodies from the abstract concept of a “normal” body?

As impressive and seductive as the designers named above are, they are not politically egalitarian even though their designs may be aesthetically radical. Kawakubo, Gins, and Arakawa’s built environments are among a highly rarified class of design, out of reach to all but a select few inhabitants/consumers. Although their design approaches are unconventional, they don’t disrupt the hierarchical relations that structure dominant paradigms of design. In fact, their work is greatly celebrated in establishment fashion and architecture design circles.

A design process and philosophy that doesn’t know what a body isn’t can be found in a decidedly more mundane built environment. The jersey knit cotton T-shirt—a product found across the entire price point spectrum—is accessible and inhabitable by a great number of people. Jersey knit cotton is one of the cheaper fabrics, pliable to a broad range of bodies. Jersey knit cotton T-shirts really don’t know what a body isn’t—to this T-shirt, all bodies are T-shirt-able, all bodies can inhabit the space of a T-shirt, though how they inhabit it will be largely determined by the individual body. How the t-shirt pulls or hangs loose (and by how much) will certainly vary across bodies and across time. Indeed, the T-shirt’s stretchy jersey knit cotton materializes precisely this principle of contingency.

Julie Wilkins’ designs are aimed at “extending the grammar of the T-shirt.” Stretching the T-shirt to new proportions, her Future Classics Dress collections (made entirely of jersey knit fabrics, though not necessarily knit from cotton) are even more adaptable and modifiable than the classic T-shirt, which is somewhat limited by its fundamental T shape. (“Somewhat limited,” because its T shape has not precluded the vast number and variety of bodies that do not conform to the T-shape from wearing T-shirts.) Wilkins’ design approach is unlike those that make up traditional tables, chairs, windows, and clothing that are designed and fabricated around standard body dimensions. Wilkins’ designs create built environments that are pliant, dynamic, modular, and mobile.

Wilkins’ Future Classics Dress designs are modifiable by and adaptable to an unspecified range of bodies; they are conditional architectures. As demonstrated on their website, one garment can be worn in many ways, on many bodies. How users inhabit the clothes depends on them as much as on the designer. Choosing how to wear a Future Classics garment can be an involved process. While the Future Classics Dress collections don’t give individuals total autonomy, they allow bodies more freedom than we’ve seen before."



"The idealized relationship of bodies and designed grounds is a predictive geometric one. It is widely accepted that a surface directly perpendicular to the body provides the best environment for bodies to function. As a result, the surfaces of designed grounds are overwhelmingly flat, and non-flat floors are marked as problems to be fixed. Yet even a cursory glance at any playground and its many and differently uneven grounds—“terrains” is a better word—trouble this taken-for-granted logic.

Children tend to have a particularly acute relation to their physical environment. Their small and unpracticed bodies almost never fit the overwhelmingly hard, flat surfaces of mainstream environments. In this way, all young children can be understood as having non-standard bodies. Their “unfitness” is measured in relation to normatively designed built environments. The image of any young child climbing a set of stairs illustrates the kind of unfitness we mean. By contrast, the playground’s dense rubbery foam floors, its flexible pathways (e.g, chain-linked bridges), and its integration of Parent and Virilio’s Oblique Function of various slopes and elevations, are surfaces that children’s bodies navigate capably, oftentimes with a level of ease that escapes adults… [more]
spinoza  design  arakawa  madelinegins  body  bodies  normal  normalization  standardization  variation  architecture  fashion  politics  inclusion  tolerance  inclusivity  adaptability  léopoldlambert  minh-hatpham  henrydreyfuss  reikawakubo  juliewilkins  paulvirilio  claudeparent  theobliquefunction  futureclassicsdress  modification  stretch  give  glvo  uniformproject  audiencesofone  philosophy  standards  canon  canes  ability  abilities  disability  variability  ablerism  ethics  textiles  personaluniforms  fabrics  clothing  clothes  inlcusivity  disabilities 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Metafoundry 30: Confusion Matrices
"WE ARE THE DOOM SQUAD: In this fantastic interview for Rawr Denim, William Gibson talks about clothing and fashion: “There’s an idea called “gray man”, in the security business, that I find interesting. They teach people to dress unobtrusively. Chinos instead of combat pants, and if you really need the extra pockets, a better design conceals them. ...[T]here’s something appealingly “low-drag” about gray man theory: reduced friction with one’s environment.” That made me wonder: “What does a 'grey woman' look like?”, which made me think about how Deborah Tannen used the linguistics terms marked and unmarked to describe gender and clothing. Just as many English words are default male (unmarked), with a changed ending to connote female (marked; think 'actor' vs 'actress'), she argued that men's dress can be unmarked but women's dress is always marked. That is, there are decisions that men make about what they wear that are defaults, that aren’t even seen as a decision. In contrast, every decision that a woman makes about what she wears—heels vs, flats, pants vs, skirts, the length of a skirt and the height of a neckline, haircuts, jewelry—is freighted with cultural baggage. Take makeup. Especially in professional settings, for a woman, not wearing makeup is a noticeable, and notable, decision: marked. But for a man, not wearing makeup is not a decision—nobody notices when men aren't wearing makeup: unmarked. (Of course, a man wearing makeup is very marked indeed.)

Since I was a tween, I've been mostly wearing black clothes (with a bit of grey), no branding, minimal ornamentation, and simple lines. Right now, my wardrobe mostly consists of black jeans and trousers and a few skirts and dresses, t-shirts, hoodies, jackets (worn according to the formality of the event). Given the historically snowy weather in Boston this winter, some of my more technical outerwear and other clothing was folded into my regular wardrobe by necessity, which resulted in an aesthetic that a friend described as ‘cyberpunk Winter Soldier’. Contra Gibson’s description of Cayce Pollard Units, I’m not sure there are any women’s clothes that could have been unremarkably worn between 1945 and 2000; for a start, that my clothes are monochrome has been remarked on regularly since I was a teenager, not least because black has a long history of cultural connotations of its own.

The aesthetic choice to wear black that I made when my parents were still buying my clothes was cemented when I was an undergraduate and graduate student (almost all of my teens and twenties), because black clothes are an intensely practical choice when the phrase ‘disposable income’ is an oxymoron. I remember this Glenn O’Brien article in SPIN from 1985, in which (once you get past the casual homophobia and the implicit assumption that women are not reading it, and possibly not even sentient beings) he makes the case for that practicality—how black clothes don’t show dirt or damage much (useful when you can't easily afford to replace something if you spill coffee on it), and how they’re appropriate for a wide range of social settings. And all shades of black match, which is more than you can say for other colours. But what wearing black mostly meant to me was that I could make decisions about purchasing clothes and accessories on just one axis—functionality—without worrying about colour. When I gave talks at research conferences or went off to interviews for a postdoctoral position, I had exactly one purse and one pair of good dress shoes and one briefcase and I could still be guaranteed that I had a coordinated outfit.

The roots of the ‘Grey Man’ lie in the Great Male Renunciation: the period around the end of the 17th century, in the middle of the Enlightenment, when society collectively decided that men’s clothing, previously as colourful and ornamented as women’s, was to be dark, sober and serious. What’s kind of astonishing is how we've never really gone back—a quick scroll through red-carpet photos makes that clear—and how we mostly just accept this sexual dimorphism as the norm. Just why men's clothing has never returned to pre-GMR levels of finery is something I’ll leave to historians and sociologists, but it’s almost certainly related to the harsh enforcement of gender norms—while women can wear colours and clothing styles indistinguishable from men’s (as I write this, I’m wearing black jeans, a black t-shirt, and Camper high-tops), the slightest hint of femininity in men’s self-presentation elicits verbal abuse at best, and the worst is far worse.

I have more money to spend on clothes than I did as a grad student, so the quality of what I wear has gone up markedly (Fluevog Derby Swirls instead of steel-toed police boots from the surplus store), but what passes for my personal aesthetic has been pretty constant for two decades. Gibson talks about ‘reduced friction with one’s environment’, and that’s an element of how I dress: wearing a de facto uniform means that I spend very little time getting dressed in the morning, and makes it infinitely easier to pack for the frequent travel I do. Fran Lebowitz (who herself wears a gender-bending daily uniform) defends this move in a recent interview with Elle: “[T]here's nothing wrong in not caring. A man who doesn't care about what he looks like, he's applauded. We say, 'Oh, he's not superficial!'” My own personal Great Female Renunciation is tolerated in my professional environment of academic engineering. But, if you’re a woman, it’s almost impossible to eliminate the social friction around what you’re wearing: as Tannen noted, the way you dress is always perceived (and judged) by others, no matter how much you try to be unremarkable. You can turn this to your advantage: as Lebowitz puts it, “What's so great thing [sic] about clothes is that they're artificial—you can lie, you can choose the way you look, which is not true of natural beauty.” So while there isn't really a 'grey woman', you have more options for active camouflage. But, of course, most of us aren't super-sekrit agents, and this social scrutiny is always in action. It infuriates me when my female students are routinely asked if they have a date when they wear something other than a t-shirt and jeans, are told they are ‘too pretty’ to be engineers, or when my female academic colleagues are presumed, implicitly or explicitly to be less ‘serious’ if they are ‘too’ well put together.

I mostly think about the semiotics of what I wear in the same way that C.P. Snow is said to have described the three laws of thermodynamics: "You can’t win. You can’t break even. You can’t quit the game." There’s a reason why women care deeply about fashion—because it matters. Because it affects how literally everyone you encounter treats you. Given this, the depth of feeling in stories about wardrobes like those recounted in Sheila Heti’s Women in Clothes make more sense. I am acutely aware of the social and professional privilege that means I can opt-out of ‘dressing for success’ (I already have the job I want), although I’m certainly cognizant of what I’m leaving on the table by not paying much attention to style (for me, spending my time and money on other things is a fair trade; the value proposition is different for every woman) and that the specific way that I don't care about fashion is also a statement ('you can't quit the game'). It's common for men to demonstrate mild (or strong) disdain for how much women care about fashion or how much money women spend on clothes. But they are mostly just demonstrating a complete lack of awareness of a semiotic system that women are required to participate in, in order to accrue both economic and social benefits, which men are largely exempt from. "
debchachra  2015  uniforms  uniformproject  glvo  gender  clothing  howwedress  semiotics  williamgibson  caycepollard  color  daborahtannen  greyman  glenno'brien  franlebowitz  cpsnow  sheilaheti  womeninclothes  privilege  presentationofself  identity  freedom  signaling  pesonaluniforms 
march 2015 by robertogreco
A Brief History of Astronaut Fashion — The Atlantic
"FFD’s founders, Nikolai Moiseev and Ted Southern, met in 2007 as rivals in a public NASA competition to design a better glove. At the time, Southern was earning a master of fine arts degree in sculpture at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute of Design. His work also included theatrical costumes; Cirque du Soleil remains a client of the company. Moiseev, meanwhile, had spent two decades working on space suits at Zvezda, Russia’s leading space-suit company. He saw the contest as a chance to leave his home country, where bureaucracy and funding problems stifled his creativity, and find new opportunities in the commercial space sector of the U.S.

Perhaps as a child, you inflated a rubber glove into the rough approximation of a balloon bird. Imagine now that you have to blow up—pressurize—that glove, but the fingers must remain independent and mobile, capable of grasping, and the palm must remain curved slightly inward, so it can hold things. Traditionally, space-suit gloves have solved this problem by having two layers, a pressurized bladder inside and a restraint layer outside. But the friction between them makes it harder for astronauts to move their hands.

Moiseev and Southern’s winning design was a glove with a single layer—they were able to use an air-tight material to create the combined effect of an air bladder wrapped in fabric, significantly reducing friction. With the modest prize money and new contacts, they were able to incorporate FFD and get Moiseev U.S. residency. They began winning small research and development contracts for gloves, sleeves and other components. By 2010, the company had completed its prototype of a fully-functioning IVA suit.

Its current suits, which include built-in helmets, are also single-layer, relying on high-tech fabrics heat-welded at the seams. The pressure they generate while inflated is about one-third that of the earth’s atmosphere at sea level, allowing you to survive for several hours in the event of decompression. They also protect you when rocket acceleration generates forces equal to three times earth’s gravity, thanks to special bladders that inflate around your legs during take-off and re-entry. The suit includes an oxygen system, temperature controls, utility pockets, a built-in sunshade, integrated communications systems and, yes, a “biomedical port” for medical diagnostics and human waste.

Experience has led space programs to conclude that a pressure suit is worth the weight, cost and discomfort. Soviet astronauts flew without pressure suits—“they wanted to project an image of this being a ride on a bus,” De Monchaux says—but when an oxygen valve failed on a Soyuz craft returning to Earth in 1971, it depressurized 100 miles above the ground. The recovery crew found the three cosmonauts onboard dead from asphyxiation. Now, all Soyuz crew members wear suits when they fly."



"Like many space-focused entrepreneurs, FFD thinks it can disrupt incumbent government contractors—or at least compete successfully—thanks to cheap new technology, methods, and materials. Last December, the company signed a research agreement to develop a new IVA suit for NASA.

Currently, NASA is planning on using the latest iteration of the ACES pumpkin suit when it flies manned missions in its Orion spacecraft, beginning in 2018. It is modifying the suit to function outside the space capsule as well, for a mission to an asteroid the agency hopes to launch sometime after 2020. Here, astronauts get some practice in the suit during an underwater training session: [video]

Southern thinks his suit might be a better candidate for that mission, because it’s more flexible and operates at higher pressurization than the ACES suit, reducing the risk of altitude sickness. It is also 14 lbs (6 kg) lighter, saving 100 lbs of weight for a full crew of seven astronauts—which may not sound like much, but remember that the cost of a rocket launch is measured in thousands of dollars per pound. FFD’s suits also cost $80,000 each, far less than the $250,000 spent on ACES suits.

And the market is expanding. Both Boeing and SpaceX intend to fly humans into space in 2017, and it is not yet clear what they will wear. SpaceX is reportedly developing its own suit, though FFD has had several meetings with the company. Boeing remains mum, but Southern says he expects it to use one of the established contractors. Virgin Galactic is not planning to use pressure suits aboard its space plane, which will make only short flights above the atmosphere, but more serious missions—whether that’s bringing tourists to floating habitats in orbit or on the moon, as Bigelow Aerospace is mulling; mining asteroids, per Planetary Resources; or sending an expedition to Mars, à la NASA and SpaceX—will all involve long periods in space and tricky maneuvers in addition to launch and re-entry.

Even so, Southern and Moiseev concede that the market for space suits may not pick up fast enough for them to build a truly humming business beyond small contracts from NASA and a few other high-altitude entrepreneurs. But they hope to spin a sideline in terrestrial clothes out of their latest generation of space-suit designs.

For example, they see an opening in wearable tech, where they could use the experience garnered while creating the most extreme wearable technology in existence. They already market their “comm caps”—skull caps with built in radio gear used by astronauts—as headsets for gamers. Southern also showed me the prototype of a belt he is developing. Fitted with tiny, vibrating motors connected with electronic threads, it could relay directions to a pedestrian by feel, so she wouldn’t have to hold a mobile phone. I wished I’d had one when I was trying to find his offices."
spacesuits  glvo  design  finalfrontierdesign  2015  tedsouthern  nikolaimoiseev  uniformproject  space  gloves  timdernholz 
march 2015 by robertogreco
BBC News - How did WW2 change the way people dressed?
"Despite air raids and austerity, style was not in short supply in World War Two. An exhibition at the Imperial War Museum looks at how conflict abroad meant fashion at home had to change."

"The Make-do and Mend credo - given official support by the Board of Trade in 1942 - tried to make people think differently about where they got clothes from.

With coupons limiting what could be bought in the shops, old garments at the back of wardrobes were adapted and given new life.

This woman's matching jacket and skirt may originally have started life as a man's pin stripe suit."
clothing  history  wwii  worldwartwo  2015  austerity  glvo  war  makedo  mending  uniformproject  uk 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Uniform Project
"Uniform Project was born in May 2009, when one girl pledged to wear a Little Black Dress for 365 days as an exercise in sustainable fashion. Designed to also be a fundraiser for the education of underprivileged children in India, the project acquired millions of visitors worldwide and raised over $100k for the cause. U.P then continued into Year 2 with a monthly series of select Pilots taking on the 1-Dress challenge for causes of their choice. Today, women around the world continue to take on the 1 Dress challenge and wear U.P LBDs as an expression of socially conscious fashion."
uniforms  clothing  uniformproject  sustainability  art  design  fashion  sheenamatheiken  glvo  pesonaluniforms 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Science Of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear The Same Thing Every Day
"Have you ever thought about how much time you likely waste deciding what to wear in the morning? It’s probably made you late to school or work more times than you can count.

We waste so many precious moments concerning ourselves with frivolous details. An outfit will not change the world, it probably won’t even change your day.

This is not to say that fashion isn’t important, as it has an immense impact on culture and, in turn, the direction of society.

Indeed, fashion is where art, culture and history intersect. If we look at the 1960s, for example, the way people dressed was very much a reflection of the counterculture movement and the anti-establishment sentiments of the era.

Simply put, clothes can tell us a lot about sociology.

Yet, at the same time, we’ve arguably become an excessively materialistic and superficial society. Undoubtedly, there are greater things to worry about than clothes.

Similarly, as the great American author Henry David Thoreau once stated:
Our life is frittered away by detail.

…Simply, simplify.

In essence, don’t sweat the small stuff. Make your life easier by concentrating on the big picture.

Correspondingly, a number of very successful people have adopted this philosophy in their daily routines.

Decision Fatigue: Why Many Presidents And CEOs Wear The Same Thing Every Day

Whether you love or hate him, it’s hard to argue against the notion that President Obama has the most difficult job in the world. As the leader of the most powerful country on the planet, the president has a lot on his plate.

Regardless of what he does, he will be criticized. Simply put, he’s got a lot of important things to think about beyond his wardrobe.

This is precisely why President Obama wears the same suit every single day. Well, almost every day, we can’t forget about the time the Internet exploded when he wore a khaki suit. Although, that probably says less about him and more about us.

The majority of the time, however, Obama wears either a blue or gray suit. In an article from Michael Lewis for Vanity Fair, the president explained the logic behind this routine:
‘You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits’ [Obama] said.

‘I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.’ He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions.

As Stuart Heritage puts it for the Guardian, “Barack Obama has pared his wardrobe down to such a degree that he can confidently walk into any situation and make decisions that directly impact on the future of mankind.”

The president is not alone in this practice. The late, great, Steve Jobs wore his signature black turtleneck with jeans and sneakers every single day.

Moreover, Mark Zuckerberg typically wears a gray t-shirt with a black hoody and jeans when seen in public. Similarly, Albert Einstein reportedly bought several variations of the same gray suit so that he wouldn’t have to waste time deciding what to wear each morning.

This is all related to the concept of decision fatigue. This is a real psychological condition in which a person’s productivity suffers as a result of becoming mentally exhausted from making so many irrelevant decisions.

Simply put, by stressing over things like what to eat or wear every day, people become less efficient at work.

This is precisely why individuals like President Obama, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Albert Einstein decided to make life easier by adopting a monotonous wardrobe.

Obviously, as these are some of the most successful and productive individuals in history, they are on to something.

Make Life Simple

Indeed, having a diverse collection of clothing is overrated. We waste so much time worrying about things that have no substantial consequences, and don’t even realize how easily we could change this.

This is exactly why President José Mujica of Uruguay rejects conformity and refuses to wear a tie, stating:
The tie is a useless rag that constrains your neck.

I’m an enemy of consumerism. Because of this hyperconsumerism, we’re forgetting about fundamental things and wasting human strength on frivolities that have little to do with human happiness.

He’s absolutely right. The vast majority of us are guilty of obsessing over material things. When it comes down to it, they bring no real value to our lives. True fulfillment is acquired by going out into the world and fostering palpable and benevolent changes.

Buying a new pair of shoes might make you feel more confident in the short-term, but it will not enrich your life in the long-term.

Undoubtedly, the world would be an extremely boring place if we all wore the same exact thing every day.

Yet, we might all consider simplifying our lives a bit more by reducing the amount of time we spend thinking about pointless aspects of our day. In the process, one might find that they are significantly less stressed, more productive and more fulfilled.

Life is complicated enough, don’t allow the little things to dictate your happiness. Simplify, simplify."
uniforms  clothing  fashion  minimalism  choices  2014  barackobama  stevejobs  markzuckerberg  johnhaltiwanger  uniformproject  josémujica  alberteinstein  glvo  thoreau  pesonaluniforms 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Stealth Wear Aims to Make a Tech Statement - NYTimes.com
"Adam Harvey, an artist and design professor at the School of Visual Arts and an early creator of stealth wear, acknowledges that countersurveillance clothing sounds like something out of a William Gibson novel.

“The science-fiction part has become a reality,” he said, “and there’s a growing need for products that offer privacy.”

Mr. Harvey exhibited a number of his stealth-wear designs and prototypes in an art show this year in London. His work includes a series of hoodies and cloaks that use reflective, metallic fabric — like the kind used in protective gear for firefighters — that he has repurposed to  reduce a person’s thermal footprint. In theory, this limits one’s visibility to aerial surveillance vehicles employing heat-imaging cameras to track people on the ground.

He also developed a purse with extra-bright LEDs that can be activated when someone is taking unwanted pictures; the effect is to reduce an intrusive photograph to a washed-out blur. In addition, he created a guide for hairstyling and makeup application that might keep a camera from recognizing the person beneath the elaborate get-up. The technique is called CV Dazzle — a riff on “computer vision” and “dazzle,” a type of camouflage used during World War II to make it hard to detect the size and shape of warships.

Mr. Harvey isn’t the only one working on such products. …"
surveillance  countersurveillance  uniformproject  razzledazzle  light  facerecognition  clothing  wearables  wearable  privacy  2013  adamharvey  googleglass  drones  beckstern  toddblatt  joannemcneil  janchipchase  camouflage  jennawortham  fashion  technology  fabric  dazzle 
june 2013 by robertogreco

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