Unraveling Designer Sweaters is Now Performance Art

March 21, 2014 • Fashion

Remember the trend a few years back regarding ripped t-shirts? People were all over that stuff on the blogs. I feel like every fashion anthropologist with a blogspot had a self published self-shredding tutorial on how to cop the Obesity & Speed look for less. It could look like elegant cobwebs, or it could look like you fought a war with your washer/dryer and lost. A true fashion problem: paying to look like ass.

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Obesity and Speed shredded t-shirt, a true iconic of the 2010’s.

 

I’m not really actually trying to be mean when I say that though, I totally wanted one of those shirts myself. I am not above trends, and I am endlessly fascinated with the idea of deconstruction of a design being a design in itself. Is it wasteful? Is it innovative? Is the destruction of art art itself? I’ve been thinking about that idea in relation to the graffiti at Prada Marfa for the past few days as well as the recent destruction of Ai Wei Wei’s pottery in Miami and I still haven’t quite decided. The Amsterdam artists Lenert & Sander have taken the idea to the extreme with their storefront exhibition & fashion film, down below. The two sat and unraveled last season’s stock of designer sweaters in the name of art and neatly wrapped them back into yarn. I am both repulsed and fascinated, which I think is my favorite feeling because I’m a broken shell of a human being. What do you think about it?

Personally, I think I lean on the side of being repulsed, mostly because it’s quite easy to destroy, dissemble, or dissolve something but it takes practiced skill to create it. They aren’t really doing anything that your cat couldn’t do when you’ve been away for too long and you forgot to clip her nails, you know? But it does say a lot about how fleeting the signs of fashion are. People put so much significance and heart into the idea of clothes but they can fall away and be rolled right into fabric before you know it. While some luxury goods have been elaborately designed down to the fabric composition — laser cut, triple woven, shuttled between continents for the right kind of embroidery — plenty of swaggy things just start from a nice ball of yarn and we pay up the nose.

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Before & After (though I guess also just Before-Before)

These particular balls of yarns just went through the full cycle of creation and destruction in front of our eyes, I suppose. They’re quite valuable even as raw material all over again; reportedly the artists sold photographs of just the unraveling process for 750 euros each and the yarn final selling prices have not been disclosed.

That’s a lot of signs and signification for a ball of yarn. I love you so much, fashion. You repulsive art-monster, you.

Read more:
Soo Joo: From Nada to Prada

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