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de stijl

I wished to make something starkly, absurdly geometric and see whether it could in fact result in a garment – one that people would actually wear, that is… I was thus hugely gratified when, not so long ago, fellow Turk and SL associate Troy Vogel contacted me and told me what a traffic stopping, knock em dead success he had been wearing this outfit (down to those lovely little prim shoes) to the opening of the Frank Lloyd Wright museum in SL. And a more appropriate place to be flaunting this I really cannot think of…

The thing with the big tenets of modernist design, such as “less is more”, “form follows function” and “ornament is crime” is to know exactly how far to take them before the whole thing erupts in sublime ridiculousness, and somewhat more seriously in a relinquishment of personal identity, given that (when it comes to appearance) it is our very ornaments that distinguish us from the one standing next to us. Sometimes intentionally so, but more often than not quite unawares: You wear suede cowboy boots, I wear Doc Maarten’s – both are in their essence ornamental objects that reveal who we are, what we like, and quite a bit more as well. The purely functional boot, entirely devoid of the crime of ornament? Hmmm… Kinda hard to imagine really, no? And, I for one, have to be very careful to remember all this since my natural tendencies in design do in fact lean towards the stark, the unadorned, the less rather than the more… So, I do fall in love when I see something like Rietveld’s Schroder House and my little old graphic designer’s heart does go pit-a-pat gazing at his famous white chair.

Stark as it may be, the de.stijl dress is (in the end), all about ornament – and quite deliberately so at that. In fact, it is ornamental to the point where I quite enjoy imagining Theo van Doesburg clobbering me on the head with one of his arithmetic compositions as a punishment for it (not that he is still around to do so, alas…).

Ornament as evidenced in the spine cubes: They certainly serve no function, other than to make your life utterly miserable should you wish to lean back into your – oh so gorgeously comfortless – red, blue, yellow and black reclining chair. (Oh and, just before I forget – I did throw a couch along the same lines into the sales box of this. With embedded poseball of course! A nice small cube: Right where your derriere is supposed to go. Verrrry functional that!…). Or the prim train: Try getting into a crowded space with that! (I wonder how Troy managed it? Can’t have been much of a turnout at the event, I suppose). Or the mohawk? What would you need to put that on, I wonder? Screws? And last but not least is of course the prim manicure! Try nibbling at your hors d’oeuvres with that!

So, it is me taking the piss out of my own obsessions. This de.stijl dress. For men and women, I should add…

Note: Following the worthy adage of less is more, this is probably the most decolté outfit alpha.tribe has ever put out there. In fact, so risque is it that I got bashful and did not pose for it in any of the images but had Amina do it instead. I mean, when all is said and done, I am a look-alike avatar and it would not do at all, you know!?!


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