Salem is perfect
Salem is perfect
June is so out the door
About 2 to 4% of the population has had an abduction experience…
That is just the ones reported or remembered…
Either Way LA collaboration with artist Dane Johnson’s painted clothing. Photographed by JUCO.Model: Achok with LA Models, Make up - Mia Yang with Atilier, Nails by Kait Mosh, Styled by Julia Galdo painted clothing by Dane Johnson
Rewatching the Matrix Trilogy, I find myself way more interested in the few glimpses we get of Zion. The infrastructure of the subterranean city is never fully explained. Some kind of water recycling station appears in a few scenes, miles of pipe suggest an elaborate vertical plumbing network in a panoptic urban space linked by support bridges. All social/political decisions are regulated by a committee of chancellors/elders, everyone is fed some kind of bio engineered mush, and we’re given no visual evidence that any kind of animal or plant life might exist alongside the Zionites. Aside from their astounding technology, all we really have as a point of cultural reference is clothing.
By now, the costuming in the trilogy is iconic; floor length dusters, vinyl catsuits, and BDSM references abound in the virtual construct, while zionite garb provides a quiet handwoven hippie contrast to further emphasize the synthetic gloss of a cold metropolis. Everything is distressed, sweat stained, handed down. Bodies are mostly sexless and, aside from the council costumes, without class distinctions. Like a dystopic Bennetton ad, oatmeal colored jumpers drape across the backs of a multiethnic population. Somehow leather crosses over from the matrix in the form of combat boots, belts, and holsters. It’s all pretty unassuming, and seemingly makes no restrictive demands on the body.
While the Wachowski’s primary goal was espousing the dangers of an increasingly digitized/automated society, they simultaneously provide us with a model of a civilization on the brink - designing within an environment of incredible scarcity. Zionites are extremophiles, utilizing a very limited amount of resources, no natural light, dealing with an overpopulation problem, all while combating a robotic horde. It would only make sense that what they’re wearing would somehow be sustainable - I’m just not sure what that would exactly mean.
Though we’re never shown evidence of non-human organisms, we are somehow provided with accessories derived from skins. Gently abraded sweaters, trousers, and tanks come in varying hues of deep red, black, and royal blue, but from where these pigments are found so deep in the earth I’m not sure. Everyone is walking around in some kind of natural fiber without any visible means of cultivating flora. Straps and harnesses crisscross over jersey longsleeves and linen trousers. It all feels like Helmut Lang on an upstate co-op farm.
Maybe they’ve devised a way of synthesizing natural materials or have become adept at weaving thousands of years of garbage into a moderately durable fiber. As a designer it’s really fun to dream within the restrictions on production and resources like the ones Zion provides. [I also have this parallel theory that science fictive futures make these projections inherently impossible but that’s a whole other thing.] If the Matrix represents a capitalistic system of oppression mediated by images, Zion is an escape for those who wish to unplug themselves from wasteful economic systems and production methods. This city provides humanity with the opportunity to do things the right way not because they feel like it but out of necessity.
I see Eckhaus Latta as a brand that’s responding to these problems now before our reality resembles anything like Zion. Their output has been pretty strong in terms of sustainability and fabric sourcing. They’re small and relatively slow, which is refreshing when I’m bombarded by other up and coming designers who are comfortable with being fast and inefficient. Most designs feel sexless but remain sexy, and there’s this unspoken feeling of inclusivity at the heart of the brand. Wearing their clothes might be the closest we can get to Zion without actually having to decide between the red or blue pill.
massive attack at Byblos international festival
Embroidered masks at Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal, spring/summer 2014