The deadly nonchalance of T-shirts : serial killers of creativity ?


The Universe Irony : + 1253 points

After the intriguing John Galliano Fall-Winter Fashion Show, I went to the Palais de Tokyo library and bought a copy of a wonderful Illustrating fashion magazine called Dash. Maybe you have been able to read by now all about my love story with my red shirt, so you will understand why this article called “Thoughts on T-shirts” particularly caught my eye. Indeed, the author, Sophie Joy Wright, explained how, according to her, nonchalance killed creativity and how T-shirts are the ultimate symbol of this murder. (I know. That’s appealing, right ?)

Reading about the death of creativity in fashion at the gates of a fashion show possesses a peculiar charm. A gentle irony.

The author explained how T-shirts are, for her, the symbol of what she called the “scrolling culture”. Indeed, this term characterized our culture, in which, in order to be able to process the massive amount of information we receive every day, we only engage superficially with a bit of everything, instead of really focusing on one thing that interests us. We scroll through information in every aspect of our life, as we scrolled down websites and adds in front of our computer screen.

This indifference is not new at all and is indeed linked for her, with what the German sociologist Georg Simmel meant in 1904 when he talked about the “blasé” world he was living in. “He identified the blasé outlook as a symptom of an environment full of messages: the city. I consider that what he saw as “indifference to distinction” has evolved into the act of scrolling.” She then explained how this indifference and this “scrolling culture” could be found in fashion as well. Indeed, to be able to differentiate themselves in this supersaturated field, brands don’t try to be more creative, they only try to communicate louder than the others, to simply make more noise in order to be more visible.

Here we find again the “spectacle” aspect taking over the creative spirit that hit me during the fashion show. Many brands of “fashion houses” don’t want to innovate or purely create, not really, they have to sell, they want to sell and they know that in order to do that, in order to catch our eyes as we scroll down through everything, being loud is more efficient than being different. And T shirts represent that, as they could be defined as the reduction of an original idea in a standardized and infinitely reproducible format.

She takes here the example of these last rounds of fashion weeks to illustrate this death of creativity. Facing the accusation of lack of originality, everybody was trying to blame everybody: “First the designers were blamed, who responded by saying they design what will be bought Then the buyers were blamed, who said they buy what will sell.” But for her, maybe the real people to blame are ourselves, in the end, for being unable to react against this culture and for loving the reduction of creativity we wear as shirts everyday.

She may be a bit harsh, but I cannot help but think she has a real point here, as it is really linked to what Li said and what I am beginning now to truly observe .

But Sophie, even if your point is more than interesting, I am definitely not thanking you for making me see now a bunch of colorful murderers when I open my closet every morning.  Not cool.


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