Why I Like the Clothes I Like: William Morris, Dieter Rams, and the Thought of Honest Design
I’ve been insanely busy this summer, so I haven’t had much of a chance to write much on the blog. However, I’ve been repeatedly making a comparison in my head lately whenever I see fashionable or stylish garments on the street. I’ve been thinking about what draws me toward and pushes me away from certain items, and like I said, there is one concept that keeps coming back again and again. As you may or may not know, I am currently a graphic design student, and in my mind the line between design theory and the world of style often becomes nonexistent. I’ve written pieces about design and style before, and this is going to be another one of those pieces.
If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a few days, you have probably realized that I’m not one for high fashion; I’m not one for leather pants, dysfunctional hats, shiny shit, or the latest Kanye sneaker collaboration. I gravitate toward simpler, more straightforward style, mixing classic fabrics and patterns to fit into a modern setting. I’m not saying that I gravitate toward the boring, but more so toward the refined. You can say that the cut or colors come into effect (and they do), but the biggest variable and determinant is the material used to make the garment. When it comes down to it, the appearance of the material, as well as the appearance of the physical attributes, is what pushes me away or toward a garment.
William Morris was a prominent designer and theorist during the Arts and Crafts movement in the late 19th century. It was in the 1880s that Morris and the rest of the artists and designers in the Arts and Crafts movement adopted the “truth to Materials” ideal as a standard for work in both art and design. The concept behind this ideal was that materials should be presented for what they are; there should be no attempt to try and disguise a material or alter its appearance to resemble something else. Wood should be represented as wood, grain and all. Gold should be presented as gold, ink as ink. The idea was that if you present something as it truly is, the design would be honest and the worth would be evident.
More after the jump.