For five years straight I wore only T-shirts adorned with something I’d written on them in black marker. The things I wrote on the shirts fit into two basic categories. The first category was self-deprecating remarks like “I feel vaguely guilty all the time”, “I’m weak” or simply the word “Ugly”. The others where things I wanted to express to the world but had some sort of fear that kept me from doing so; comments like “I’m ashamed to be white”, “I do Drugs and I Vote” or “I want to Kill Tom Hanks”. All the comments where stated as “I” statements, these where my feelings not facts about the external world, there was no way anyone could disagree with them.
The essential concept behind these shirts was two-fold. The first thing I was trying to do was examine the nature of fashion. I came to the conclusion that fashion was a way we non-verbally tell the world something about ourselves. My idea was to see what happens if we bypass all subtlety and just write what we feel on ourselves.
The second level was based on my belief that most of what we try to express to the world through fashion are positive traits. We are trying to tell people “I’m confident”, “I’m interesting” “I’m well adjusted”. These are usually things that are not entirely true about ourselves. With my project I wanted to make fashion that expressed the opposite, that said things about ourselves we maybe didn’t want the world to know. Thus “Anti-Fashion”.
The project it’s self is long over, it ended on July 1st, exactly five years after is started. The project was both entertaining and enlightening but after a while I just didn’t want to explain myself all the time.
I still have the shirts though and I still wear them from time to time (There’s over fifty of them in my closet). There’s pictures of models wearing them, videos of Anti-Fashion shows I’ve done even an award I got for “Best use of First Amendment Rights of 100% Cotton” from the North Bay Bohemian. I even sold some of them to people on eBay.
What I’d like is to find some way to show the project to people as a finished product. An experiment that ran it’s coarse. I’m not sure how to go about it but it would be nice to have something to show for it