This book is brilliant. Are Clothes Modern? An essay on contemporary apparel, published in 1947 has become a constant source of inspiration. Written by critic, architect and designer Bernard Rudofsky the name of the book was first used as the name of the exhibition he curated and designed at MoMA in 1944.
It feels very contemporary - the design, critique underlined in sarcastic tones, range of reference and links built between them ...Typical of the content is a study by the author of how a woman's body would have been shaped if it had literally fitted the clothes of four periods in fashion: bustled silhouette of 1875 forms a lady-centaur, the 'mono-bosom' of 1904, the vase-like figure of 1913 which would result in one leg under the tight-fitting skirt and the 1920's concave flapper.
In another study of what informs what and the absurdity of the adopted norm, Rudofsky says this:
"The ultimate triumph of contemporary clothing is the symmetrical shoe, our deepest regret is our inability to develop a symmetrical foot. With infinite patience we try all our lives to reshape our feet to an ideal established by shoe manufacturers in the form of the "last". If the human foot were shaped like the shoe designed for it today, it would have the big toe in the middle."
To get back on topic, the book also has this image of a sketch for a tattoo made by a native of Easter Island.
It's the starting point for my exhibition Drawn Thread Work at Detroit Stockholm as part of Modevandring.
Posted by Marie O'Connor at 1.10.10