Fear and (C)loathing
This is a collection of garment designs and concepts responding to different concepts that have influenced the way we dress and communicate through clothing.
War and sports
As a response to war and sports, this garment is directly influenced by the Mesoamerican cultures of Mexico as in this context war and sports were closely related. In most Mesoamerican cultures, the best athletes were selected as warriors, with different types of sports being a key part of their training.
Two of the most important sports were Tlachtli (Ball game) and Pasarutakua (P'urhepecha ball game)
The Mesoamerican ballgame (Tlachtli) was a sport in which players hit a ball with their hips, elbows, and knees to make it go through a hoop while the P'urhepecha ball game (Pasarutakua) is a sport similar to hockey usually played at night that uses a ball which has been set on fire.
In these sports (especially Pasarutakua since it involves fire) it was very important to wear clothing that protected the ankle and legs. Similarly, in ancient Mesoamerica, wearing footwear was a privilege and it was common that the more ornate the footwear was, the greater the social status of the person wearing it.
This design is an improvement to similar garments of that time since it integrates an ankle brace that provides compression to the joint, offers warmth and support to the feet as well as helping in the recovery of swelling or sprains.
Additionally, this garment is inspired by different types of footwear and traditional ornamentation that intentionally produce noise when walking and dancing (this type of footwear is commonly used in dances and rituals). An army wearing these shoes would cause a rumble used to intimidate the enemy from a distance.
Poverty, hunger and wealth
In response to poverty, hunger and wealth, this garment is inspired by the fast fashion business model that in recent years has been adopted by many brands to obtain high profits at the cost of a serious negative impact on the environment and labor exploitation.
Based on artistic installations and protests against this practice, this garment portrays the way in which fast fashion fosters consumerism by creating clothes to be used in a short period of time, sacrificing greater durability in order to make suitable garments accessible. to the trends of the fashion industry for a lower price. This causes a vicious cycle in which the same brands make their products obsolete in order to keep the customer interested in buying something in the next season.
This piece made from worn and obsolete garments (according to fast fashion standards) forms a headgear that reaches the ground creating a trail of clothing to present the viewer with a physical experience of this concept that is abstract in nature. The fashion companies that use this business model worry about what lies ahead while ignoring the impact this kind of practice has on our planet. The burden is given to the consumer while the fashion industry is the one exploiting natural resources, polluting the environment and giving deplorable working conditions to workers.
Biological and artificial threats
As a response to Biological and Artificial threats, this garment is inspired by the history of social distancing and the different behavior restrictions imposed through design.
Clothing has long served as a useful way to mitigate close contact and unnecessary exposure. Garments have been used across time to indirectly oppress mobility and freedom, for example, crinoline dresses were seen as a sophisticated way of maintaining women’s social safety. In a similar way, tools like pepper spray, Electroshock teasers, or sharp needles and spikes have been used as protection from harassment in different contexts. In a similar way, we can also find elements built in an environment to purposefully guide or restrict behavior to maintain order. Such is the case of the highly controversial and criticized trend of 'Hostile architecture', a strategy that is quietly hurting our cities by targeting the vulnerable disproportionately and making our public spaces less accessible.
This piece is a black retractable spike suit. This lightweight accessory has a modern design that facilitates social distancing in any given circumstance.
As a response to body alterations, this garment takes a futuristic approach by suggesting the possibility of genetically modified humans.
Genetically modified humans may have both positive and negative implications. Some negative or even dangerous possibilities may include the loss of individuality, new diseases and vulnerabilities, further inequalities in society, rejection of non-perfect humans, pre-selection of features and qualities of what we think is "healthy", preselection of humans based on medical conditions, the possibility of forced gene editing by governments, the possibility of engineering an army of modified super-soldiers.
On the other side, some benefits would come with this scientific advancement, for example, the reduction of genetic and inherited diseases, increase in life spans, immunity to most diseases, prevent potential suffering, improvement of the functions of the body, possibility of engineering humans so they are equipped for extended space travel, adapt to the conditions of another planet, immortality?
Anyways, how are we even supposed to know which traits are good or bad in human beings?
After some research, the conclusion was that one of the main traits that people would like to enhance through genetic modification was sight. From this starting point, gathering inspiration from some of the traits that have given amazing vision capabilities to some animals like owls (night vision), eagles (Larger field of vision and long-distance sight capabilities), and mantis shrimp (advanced color recognition system), this design envisions how genetically modified humans could drastically improve their vision in the future.
Protest and advocate
In response to protest and advocate, this garment makes reference to the Tlatelolco massacre and the Olympic games of 1968.
Responding to growing social unrest and protests, the government of Mexico had increased economic and political suppression, against labor unions in particular, in the decade building up to the Olympics. A series of protest marches in the city in August gathered significant attendance, with an estimated 500,000 taking part on August 27. President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz ordered the occupation of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in September, but protests continued.
The Olympic dates were approaching, the international press and participating athletes began to arrive in Mexico City and what they found was a city in revolutionary effervescence. Convincing the International Olympic Committee and the rest of the countries that Mexico was capable of meeting their expectations and showing a peaceful and suitable country for the Olympics, became the main obsession of the government.
As the day of the opening of the games got closer, the protests became stronger, mainly one of the students who fought against the repression that the government had exercised on them since the beginning of July of that year. Using the prominence brought by the Olympics, students gathered in Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco to call for greater civil and democratic rights and showed disdain for the Olympics with slogans such as "We don't want Olympics, we want revolution!".
That day, the Mexican government sent in 5000 soldiers and 200 tankettes to disperse the thousands gathered, and troops fired into the crowd, massacring between 32 (the government’s official count) and 3,000 students.
Just 10 days after this massacre, on October 12, 1968, the Olympic Games began, with policemen with the order to “pulverize any attempt by rebel students to boycott the ceremony”, multicolored balloons and white doves trying to show a non-existent peace.
Also, another act of protest was is directly related to this event. African American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the gold and bronze medalists in the men's 200-meter race, used their medal wins as an opportunity to highlight the social issues roiling the United States at the time. They took their places on the podium for the medal ceremony wearing human rights badges and black socks without shoes, lowered their heads and each defiantly raised a black-gloved fist as the Star-Spangled Banner was played, in solidarity with the Black Freedom Movement in the United States. This was only months after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and protests against the Vietnam War were gaining steam as well.
Protest art made during this period used as inspiration the 1968 Mexico Olympics Logo and visual language designed by Lance Wyman for the event.
This outfit is based on the athletic clothing from the 60's while using the protest art of the time as the main inspiration.