I Can’t Say It, So My Shirt Will
Art and life are at it again, playing the imitation game.
I knew I was subsisting in the right cosmos the minute that “copy paste” became a metaphor for fornication (Metaphornication?).
Fran Lebowitz famously said, “If people don’t want to hear from you, what makes you think they want to hear from your sweater?”and I have cited it at least five times on Man Repeller. This is arguably because the prolific writer’s inflections are so astute, once, twice, three times repeated just isn’t enough. It is also, however, highly possible that every story I have written that has warranted the use of that quote until this point has been warm up for the Olympic equivalent of my reflecting on sweaters that say stuff and t-shirts that show stuff.
Back on the chicken-or-egg bandwagon, the automobile is stocked with just one question: which came first? Art is imitating life — or is it vice versa? — with a recent collaboration between UK-based apparel brand Être Cecile (you remember that nod to Woody Allen in the form of a black cotton box strapped across my chest that read: Written and Directed by Woody Allen — don’t you?) and meme-base artist Richie Culver. The anterior is responsible for the thick black block letter maxims that appear on the t-shirts and muscle tanks which, in his own words, feature “technology that is crude and urban; the sentiment behind it…ancient and pan-cultural.”
The t-shirts support a digitally apt nod to the world we occupy, borrowing its lingo to make a larger, independent comment on our respective states of existence. With “My mistake was staying logged on,” we can universally attest to having erroneously stayed on but when we did, we called it lingering. With “You make my hard drive full,” you’re not experiencing an issue that RAM can assuage so much as you are addressing an emotional condition that can be deemed triumphant.
They will obviously mean different things for their wearers, though. Where “online I just feel stronger,” is concerned, the blouse is like a personal affirmation of my dual existence. The one that is independent of being online and the one I have cultivated to shoulder the former, but that effectively cannot exist without Wifi. For another wearer, that strength could be measured in how far one anon can push another.
The more time I spend on these t-shirts, the further it occurs to me that contrary to Lebowitz’s initial point of view, it doesn’t matter if no one wants to hear from you or me because there is something to be said and sometimes just saying it doesn’t work. Where the intention might get lost is simply in recognizing that independent of the shirt’s articulated biases, they are so good, you’ll probably want one even if you’ve never deigned to delete.
Proof of concept? A pants-less me.