Issue 4: Garments
We cover ourselves. One way or another, we wear the world. Fabrics fold, as do we, and
what interests me is what punctuates our tissue. Lace allows light while a pelt weighs a life's
leftovers on your back. Green chiffon against red wallpaper turns heads and cameras, sets
certain desires vertiginous. The agreement between a pair of socks and a vest can tickle me
giddy. Hell, I love to wear socks as much as I don't. Yes, this reeks of post-structuralists
(who, in fact, loved to attend to structure) and a certain chiasmus of ideas proposed by M. M-Ponty.
From couture to canvas, garments are more than simply clothing or costuming. They come in
layers, they lay light or weigh down; they are rolled en masse; you think "garment" and you
think production, you think "garment district." You don't often think of sharecroppers
cutting holes in sheets to fashion dresses. But that's a garment. So's an overall pronounced
"overhaul" and so's a crustacean's home.
Mia and I were talking about how best to capture winter in a theme, though San Francisco is
by now nearing spring, and we agreed that everybody has a different idea - often based on
value - of how to keep warm. Style-as-a-philosophy is old hat but still pertinent and, well,
prevalent. The internet's odd mirrors of our everyday certainly help perpetuate postures.
Such is the appeal of something like The Sartorialist:
documenting a world most of its audience will never know but through S. Schulman's lens is a little narrative most
fluent in the internet must know. Any garment will tell you a story. As will any lack, as did the sharecroppers'
pragmatism in W. Evans and J. Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men rend me mouth
agape at times. (It was re-reading this book that gave us a final push towards this topic.)
But countenancing difference is the thrill of art and the aim of journalism. Which is what elevates that book above so
much sameness across these tubes we now inhabit.
The aim here, in this issue, was to build a jigsaw. To lock together fabrics and ideas of fabrics,
to layer with layers and get things talking to each other. That's how you outfit, I figure, so that's how I curated
this array. That's also just how I think. Thanks for seeing our rhymes.
- Ryland Walker Knight, Guest Editor
Reina de Vries
March 1, 2011, 16 x 10 inches, printed by Linco Printing, Long Island City, NY, published by andreview, edited by Rachel Peddersen and Mia Nolting, design by Mia Nolting.