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zero fashion

i've read a couple of articles post-zero-history that have struck me as being somewhat relevant to the book, or the fashion ideas within the text. i've meant to post them and brought this up in conversation with hasa and fashpo that last night over last orders post-belly-dancing.

this first piece struck me as particularly apophenic, given the shop next to the notional location of blue ant:

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Bright Magazine - Massimo Osti
-translated from a dutch article this is a piece about designer massimo osti, who seemed to be one of the first to repurpose military fashion for street wear, as well as to be a textile technologist. he worked for stone island/CP, which is the company shown in the above photos. i found the article quite interesting, particularly having never heard of the designer and only being peripherally aware of the brand.

quote:
Military inspiration
After I had tried on one of Massimo’s personal Reflective Jackets, I slowly browse the huge number of military items. There are jackets, coats, vests, gas mask bags, shirts, T-shirts, combat jackets, parkas, headgear, body warmers, belts and 100 pocket vests. Osti personally preferred military clothing and was a master in mixing product details, in 1995 he told Arena: “I love the grace of British uniforms, England had good taste and elegance and America had the practicality.” Osti used military materials and details thoughtfully, pockets, collars, fastenings, constructions and texture combinations. He took military classics such as the M-65 field jacket or the N-3B snorkel parka and just added to it. Paul Harvey, who succeeded Osti and designed Stone Island between 1995 and 2007: “Massimo didn’t get inspired by military clothing to have all of us dress like soldiers, no, the reason was that the practical characteristics of military clothing has been developed and altered by use over decades. Those garments are unequalled when it comes to practicality. By doing this Massimo opened the door to the incredible detailing in military garments”.

The ultimate example of Osti’s fusion is his camouflage Ice Jacket from 1985 in which he combined the temperature sensitive material with a camouflage print. The summer version changed colour from khaki to camouflage when the temperature rose and the winter version changed from camouflage to brown when the temperature fell. Agent Tjerk Brink remembers that Massimo himself was very fond of the Ice Camo: “I remember him wearing that jacket all the time”.
 
Chinese remake Made in Italy label - this piece struck as being the flip side of the idea of the japanese taking american equipment so they could reproduce that kind of grade of clothing - the chinese invasion of italian fashion towns so they can co-opt the "made in italy" label.

there was something else which happened today, which triggered the recollection of the intent to start this thread, but i can't remember what. no doubt it'll come back to me.
 
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oh yeah. the other thing.
Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion

- limulus better half spotted this exhibition with some enthusiasm, as had i when i saw the poster. it didn't open till this week though. i was back in london for a couple of days, another meat for another author, other events. but i did manage to catch this exhibit while i was there. some of the pieces were very interesting, and the whole minimalist design that certain pieces had struck me as very appealing in the zero history sense. i'll do some searching later, or scan the postcards i bought as demonstration. the book they were selling was disappointing, so didn't bother with that. the fact it was also mobbed with students sketching didn't help either. but some nice pieces, and apparently the soundtrack, which was very minimal and enjoyable was by janek schaefer and is available on that page for downloading.
 
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Too bad we missed the exhibit. The soundtrack is nice.
 
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Since reading ZH I have been wondering about make* as a way to describe clothing as compared to brand. Brand can be too many things at once to accurately describe clothing as it says nothing about quality or origin of clothing. Printing stuff on a t-shirt brands it, giving it extra 'value' beyond the material.

Which way is there to determine the material value, separate fabrication and marketing? Who can you trust to actually produce something themselves instead of just branding it?

Most of my clothing is cheap and without obvious branding. I'm not looking for a change of style but for a change of make for extended durability but I wouldn't know where to start looking.
I'm still thinking about this and I am not sure if I can express probably what I mean.

* Word I choose lacking a better one
 
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i'm sure there was something else i read recently which discussed the idea of how easy it was to reproduce someone elses clothes. something about not being able to copyright a basic pattern, but being able to copyright a brand/name. so the companies plaster their clothes with their name, which becomes the brand, and they make the name the thing that is desirable. which, as you point out, has no relation to the actual product and its quality.

actually, from memory, one of the core ideas in the book "no logo" relates to that of brand and how america (or the west?) no longer actually makes anything. not in the way that they did, which is one of gibson's things, its one of the ideas in zero history.

there are undoubtedly companies out there who are trying to establish themselves as a brand of makers, of people that actually make good clothes, rather than being purely a lifestyle band idea thing. though, in turn, the companies i'm half conscious of doing that tend to also be selling an earthy/sporty kind of lifestyle at the same time.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Hasa:
... Printing stuff on a t-shirt brands it, giving it extra 'value' beyond the material.

Which way is there to determine the material value, separate fabrication and marketing? Who can you trust to actually produce something themselves instead of just branding it?

...


Just to illustrate your point, about material. I ran into an example of the material difference recently.



Fire Retardant Shortsleeve T U$79.99

Men's Tactical Shortsleeve UA Tech™ T US$19.99

The former is fabricated from 100% 4.2 oz Nomex®. Nomex has excellent thermal, chemical, and radiation resistance. The later is fabricated from 95% 4.6 oz Polyester and 5% Elastane (a Spandex-like fibre). Polyester is cheap, wrinkle resistant, and durable. It does tend to burn longer and hotter than cotton fabric. (For awhile there were recommendations to wear 'natural fibers during air travel.)

The T-shirts are identical in cut and color. Gear Queers will note the Nomex-T does have the words 'Under Armour' beneath the Under Armour® logo on the left breast.

The Nomex T-shirt is four-times the price of the polyester T-shirt. However, the poly-blend shirt won't protect your chest hairs from being singed when your Honda urban assault vehicle bursts into flames.
 
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And if they forgot to use nomex thread when sewing the sleeves would fall off in a fire.
 
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I wonder which image id trying to get me to load a security certificate.

Tanduniforms?
 
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I'd advise against the Nomex t-shirt, by the way. In a t-shirt, you just want a no-melt/no-drip, mildly fire resistant fabric. Basically, you just don't want it to melt into your skin. You'd get so little protection from a t-shirt that it's retarded to spend for Nomex, I think. Unless maybe you're a firefighter. Get a $20 no-melt/no-drip t-shirt and then wear a Nomex flight suit over it. Then the expenditure can actually be worth it.
 
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Good friend of mine is a high level designer/marketer for ExOfficio. I really like their stuff, and have a few hand-me-down prototypes of their garments. Insect shield clothing, waterproof membrane outer shell, "Adventure" gear... that sort of thing. They're really well made, and he is the most "Gear Queer" guy I know, but he's also a mountaineer, mountain and ice climber, extreme skiier, etc. so it's ostensibly an acquired fetish, and necessary for his lilne of work.

Really thinking a lot about him in relation to the "Garreth" character. My friend has had both femurs replaced with titanium. Not as cool as rattan, but it was the 90's.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by King Real:
i'm sure there was something else i read recently which discussed the idea of how easy it was to reproduce someone elses clothes. something about not being able to copyright a basic pattern, but being able to copyright a brand/name. so the companies plaster their clothes with their name, which becomes the brand, and they make the name the thing that is desirable. which, as you point out, has no relation to the actual product and its quality.


I think FashPo mentioned something like this when we had drinks post belly-dance.

I have been trying to track down basic cloth items in the last few days. (Boxer shorts to be precise.) Not much luck, I will probably stick with the ones I usually buy ( these). I would n't be surprise if they were made in China and labeled in Italy. If I were to try for something more conscious regarding for instance in regard to labour conditions I would pay 6 to 10 times more.

I'm unwilling to do so at the moment basically because I can't afford it.

There is more I wanted to say but I will do that later.
 
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Yup, from this TED talk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL2FOrx41N0

(Funny thing is Marshdrifter just brought up a similar theme in the Fashionista thread(
 
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Hasa:
Since reading ZH I have been wondering about make* as a way to describe clothing as compared to brand. Brand can be too many things at once to accurately describe clothing as it says nothing about quality or origin of clothing. Printing stuff on a t-shirt brands it, giving it extra 'value' beyond the material.
QUOTE]

Reading this made me think about how Old Navy, GAP, and Banana Republic are all the same company, and they sell clothing that looks very similar. I think there is a difference in the quality of the garments, but I don't know how much of a difference there is.

On a related note all three stores seem to be selling garments that are military-ish.

Example:

1. http://bananarepublic.gap.com/...658&vid=1&pid=784348
2. http://www.gap.com/browse/prod...872&vid=1&pid=663389
3. http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/...97034&scid=797034022
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Neil Gorman:
quote:
Originally posted by Hasa:
Since reading ZH I have been wondering about make* as a way to describe clothing as compared to brand. Brand can be too many things at once to accurately describe clothing as it says nothing about quality or origin of clothing. Printing stuff on a t-shirt brands it, giving it extra 'value' beyond the material.


Reading this made me think about how Old Navy, GAP, and Banana Republic are all the same company, and they sell clothing that looks very similar. I think there is a difference in the quality of the garments, but I don't know how much of a difference there is.

On a related note all three stores seem to be selling garments that are military-ish.

Example:

1. http://bananarepublic.gap.com/...658&vid=1&pid=784348
2. http://www.gap.com/browse/prod...872&vid=1&pid=663389
3. http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/...97034&scid=797034022


BR wears its American Military Imperialist leanings on its brand, of course. They used to do sub-Abercrombie stuff back when A&F were still associated w/ Hemingway and adrenaline-junky war journalists.
 
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All are brands associated with Big Tobacco.
 
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Is there a Little Tobacco, perchance?
 
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Bill's bag in disposition's photo in the book tour photos thread is by ACRONYM. I didn't notice it in the UK, but the jacket he was wearing in the evening was ACRONYM.
 
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The Acronym stuff is really nice gear. I have to say I was coveting the jacket Bill wore on the UK Zero History tour.

Meanwhile, might I bring Sir's attention to the availability of Blast Boxers?

best
Chris (Kevlar underpants) H
 
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I've actually handled and tried a couple of Acronym garments on. I'm not at all fond of the styling and colors, but the ingenuity, attention to detail, and sheer practicality of the stuff is really first-rate. It has 'design totem' qualities, if that makes sense.

Just wish they made their line in tropical fish colors, and that the garment sizing wasn't so wonky.
 
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speaking of brands with design totem qualities

TRIPLE AUGHT DESIGN

so much more lustworthy than 5.11 or maxpedition. Chris Costas wears it, a gearqueer icon. (ggl costas magpul)

lots of knockoffs in the Taipei night markets. I have a knockoff rangerhoodie. can't justify 300dollar hoodie.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Roob:
speaking of brands with design totem qualities

TRIPLE AUGHT DESIGN

so much more lustworthy than 5.11 or maxpedition. Chris Costas wears it, a gearqueer icon. (ggl costas magpul)

lots of knockoffs in the Taipei night markets. I have a knockoff rangerhoodie. can't justify 300dollar hoodie.


Ha! You speak more truth than you know....

Personally wouldn't be caught dead in TADgear...

Huh. I see their site got rid of all the "porn rectangles" ...
 
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I like their hoodies and shells, but they really aren't anything you cant get from many other companies for much cheaper.

your dollar at TAD goes towards a huge marketing and sponsorship budget as well as great materials and halfway decent manufacture.

it is the kind of purchase that will get you spotted as a special kind of special though - the kind of person who would pay 300 to be in the 300$ hoodie club... hmm

Condor Outdoor has a new line o fleece and hardshells that are on par with TAD design and construction wise.. maybe not as great materials but for 1/5 the price. find it on uscav.com and other mil/civ sites.

Everyone above the tropic of cancer needs a black fleece of some sort. everyone.
 
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me taking photos of a particular counterfeit fetishized tactical pant:



work room/office with rubbermaid furniture, memory foam seating, taiwanese electric radiator.

'93 vintage Structure work jacket I have had since... 1993(go figure) over an American apparel grey hooded sweatshirt and grey unlabeled tshirt. Jeans are very old Levi's grey denim and too new to be comfortable 1490 Dr martens. This is my basic daily invisible street guy wear, I hope the boots wear in quickly as they squeek.

Pants on foam slab are a Taiwan counterfeit TADgear Force10 Cargo pant in ME brown (khaki) cotton/nylon ripstop. This particular copy is very good, pretty much only available in the night market in Taipei, but I have seen some rebrands on retail sites I suspect are the same pant or from the same workshop, labels changed though.
 
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I asked Bill some time ago about the sneakers he wore on the ZH tour and have both forgotten and been unable to find his response on Twitter. Can anyone tell me, please?
 
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The Tad fleece are the warmest I have ever owned. I just took a twenty minute walk back from the gym with the TAD fleece and a T shirt and was fine. Its 15 degrees. Its a great layer. The price is ridiculous, but you wont need another fleece for a long time.
 
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You're quite welcome, madame!

quote:
Originally posted by ealvarezgibson:
Ah, many thanks, sir!

quote:
 
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Whole gear-queer thing baffles me. Why spend over $200 to look all hard-core military with a TAD Special Service sweater, when you can buy a genuine surplus British Army commando sweater for like $30?
 
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the TAD gear brsnd narrative places you on the cutting edge of military technology. The Surplus narrative places you as iconoclast of the past.

and GearQueers love surplus too. Likely find a british wooly pully (commando sweater) under the TAD. IF wooly pulleys are in style right now. GearQueers follow fashion trends that sweep slow through the gearforums and blogs.

and high dollar items (IE TADgear, MAGpul) will always be envy enducing. Why drive a mazerati when you can buy a used jetta? impress people with jettas. why buy a porsche when you can have an miata? why buy Benchmade knives when you can get a gerber from Walmart? it takes a particular kind of type A personality to want to compete about everything including jackets.

Gear Queers like to post photos on the internet to impress other gearqueers. if you are at all interested checkout these blogs:

http://www.lgtkit.com/ <-- hardcore collector of Navy SEAL gear and also spotter of frauds on ebay which is an interesting topic on its own. Counterfeit SEAL webgear with battle wear and names written in marker can fetch a thousand USD on ebay.

militrymorons.com are the fashion plates "gear reviewers" ie product display shills gearqueers.

there's literally hundreds of these sites both industry and fan supported- it goes deep.
 
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here's another interesting geardo blog (geardo is the nicer version or gearqueer or gear whore):

http://geardoshit.wordpress.com/page/2/

lots of porno pixelate on this site.
 
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The M-65 .. .. .. Classic.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Roob:
here's another interesting geardo blog (geardo is the nicer version or gearqueer or gear whore):

http://geardoshit.wordpress.com/page/2/

lots of porno pixelate on this site.


All that money for Airsoft??? Damn... How many of these guys are or have been the real deal (service)?

I've only known a few guys in the Canadian Armed Forces, one (my buddy) was a bit of a gear-guy (he was in PPCLI but finished right before his unit went to Afghanistan) at the beginning but that tapered off.

The other guy I worked with for 8 years and he was old school CAF, he was armoured recon and had his sniper course, served peace keeping tours in the Golan Heights and Cypress. Ran around in a 6 wheeler in Montreal during our little October Crisis. Not into gear at all. What he told me about collecting was flags. Catch with those was they were stolen from Isreali, Syrian, Greek or Turkish checkpoints, bases, etc where they would be shot if seen. A game they used to play. Seems more interesting to me than gear.
 
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Airsoft is taking over what you would call the arm chair general geardo military enthusiast.. I dont know what you call them, but alot of it is stearing towards airsoft in the last 5 years or so. Especially in the south and midwest (of US)& Europe too.

Theres alot of old coots reliving their glory days as well as the zipper inspecting gear collectors that are just fantasinzing for the sake of it. Desk jobs and short weekends I guess. everyone wants to shoot each other.

I've airsoft'd, good fun really better than paint ball because I didnt come home covered in goo. But I wouldn't do it in 1000 dollars worth of collectors gear - that defies logic to me. But dudes compete about all kinds of stupid shit IMO. good for the economy. I suspect alot of this is dress up and walk around the living room and blog about having it type collecting though, and not just to play airsoft.

the guys I've known who have been in the service come home and shrug if you ask them about their gear. "I dunno, they issued it to me" Internet gear whores know ISDN numbers and issue dates of specific models of webgear and can spot factory runs by the color of the webbing trim.. its bizarre what the information explosion has created.

I dont even know if Mr Gibson knew how far the rabbit hole goes.
 
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Nothing says angst like an M-65 field jacket. Talk about the patination of quality - If you have grandads M-65 I guarantee it's better made and in better condition than a chinese replica a 10/th it's age.
 
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That's still a bit different than the fashion-type I think. I wonder what they would say if you said they were just LARPing? Heh.

The only specific gear item I remember my buddy talking about was a Gerber multi-tool that was issued before but they kept 'disappearing'. He brought home a training claymore (teal coloured) with a real detonator, and some live .50 rounds, and incendiary/tracer 5.56mm rounds. Not really gear that stuff, souvenirs maybe.

These Airsoft-types seem like they wouldn't be into the TAD stuff, for some reason. Authenticity issues maybe?
 
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