On Sunday, I was reading this article in the New York Times Magazine and it had some interesting commentary on patterns:
Tastes have changed, too. When Chanel was designing her sleek suits in the 1920s, as fashion’s answer to the tubular steel furniture in Le Corbusier’s purist villas, the Modernist dream was to improve people’s lives by manufacturing millions of identical objects. That dream is now tarnished by its association with industrial pollution and the blandness of global branding. We long for something richer and deeper in the objects that fill our lives, hoping that somehow they’ll matter more and we’ll use them longer, as sops to our environmental consciences. Pattern is a way of letting designers tell stories that make fashion, furniture and buildings seem more complex and meaningful.
I don’t know about globalization… after all, go into any Forever21 store (don’t bring your Starbucks… they’ll kick you out) and there’s three floors of clothes with wonderful patterns. I can’t help to think of small children in Asia stitching together. However, it’s a fleeting thought, as I usually end up buying it anyway.
It’s interesting how our search for individuality can be packaged up and sold by wearing patterns. As if there is some kind of subliminal message that a pattern is more unique than a solid color. That said, I’m glad to see patterns make their way back. They’re just fun. For a while every time I thought of patterned textiles, it made me think of either Laura Ashley or my dad’s aloha shirts. Oh dear, he can wear them, he does live in Hawaii. Patterns another way to allow yourself to break from the using clothes as a function to wearing them as a form of expression. It’s a lot more fun that way.