Repeller, Repulsed

Sometimes, negativity can be generative. Reacting to a garment with repulsion or skepticism can tell someone a lot about their aesthetic values and how they are situated in relation to the fashion zeitgeist, suggesting ways forward from wherever we are now. The following are a selection of recent/current trends that evoke a Nope response in me, personally, and brief explanations as to why.

I will not be linking to these garments for obvious reasons, but if you like any of them you can message me on Instagram @humanrepeller and I’ll get you the info with no judgement, as I am aware certain of my own style proclivities could be construed as abject horror to many folks.

Serger Seams

This one was fun at first, and some designers like my genius friend Libanati rocked out with these in the past few years, but as Libanati’s evolving oeuvre suggests, the serger-seam-as-main-design-element look is getting tired and has been used sloppily and boringly by many designers to its further detriment. If you loved this look, keep an eye on Libanati’s Instagram for fresh designs that capture the laissez-faire, LA stoner but high concept attitude that serger seams once evoked.

Problematic Patterns

I hate polka dots. No, I have never even been that into Yayoi Kusama’s polka dots. No, I don’t have trypophobia. To me, they evoke Minnie Mouse and the plague of boils we learn about on Passover and Twitter trad libertarians. I sometimes see a piece of clothing I otherwise LOVE and it has polka dots on it and I just cannot reconcile my proclivity with my basic hatred. Go stripes, go plaid, go checks (carefully, as noted below) but do not go gently into the polka dotted night. OD Checkers

Now, I love this construction of Brain Dead clogs and have really liked their other weird colorways, but this distorted check pattern (especially in mustard yellow and a furry texture) is not doing it for me. The 2019 squiggly mirror cow print L*sa S*ys G*h crowd really soured the intrigue of this pattern for me with its absorption into the Flat Design-ish zeitgeist. It feels related to the recent fixation on the word “clean” as the ultimate compliment for an illustrator or designer. Distorting a check pattern counterintuitively makes it feel more sterile to me. Classic checks can recall the original B&W vans, greasy diner floors, and gloriously torched vinyl, but distorted checks feel inescapably and staidly 2019, with no reference points outside themself and no invitation to get them a little grimy.

Classic camo is boring, military fetish-y, and mildly depressing 95% of the time. If you can pull off the 5%, more power to you. Nu camo, the kind with the trees and leaves and stuff, is much more forgiving. If you’re gonna try classic camo, at least avoid the G.I. Jane effect of overcompensating for the unavoidable masculinity of a soldier’s garb with arbitrarily feminized design choices such as ruching, micro hemlines, or bows. There is something cheeky and absurd about letting trad masculine and feminine aesthetics duke it out in one garment or outfit but in this case the cheekiness comes across as Military Barbie, which I guess is a nod to the recent mouth-foaming over “Indie Sleaze,” but I just think… this is not the way.

Too Much Mohair

Muppet-core had a moment, but we really do not need this much mohair. Arm-warmers are already a kind of delicate endeavor, it is SO easy to slip into Glee-watching-8th-grader territory with them, and the mohair just does not make sense here. Just watch Paris, Texas and cop a frickin sweater and DON’T pair it with a mohair balaclava!

Superfluous Croppage

The Depop crowd selling their little brother’s school uniform components has perverted our minds into expecting gratuitous cropping on all garments. I don’t love raw edges on jeans, but I would honestly prefer a rough crop on a sweater or tee over design perfected for a 7-year-old’s frame. Part of the sexiness of, say, a sweater vest, is its traditionally nerdy-masculine context and the un-self-serious androgyny that induces in a look. To create a similar vest, perfectly cropped to eschew these awkward edges which completely neuters the fit in my opinion.

Times New Roman

Any font you can get on Microsoft Word is usually a bad bet for garment design, but Times New Roman (I think that’s what this is) transcends the irony discourse by simply looking boring, no matter how salient or frivolous the message.

Head Triangles

Just fold a scarf or bandana in half diagonally like humans have been doing for thousands of years. It’ll actually keep you warm/cool as opposed to this object which will just keep you in the lukewarm MID ZONE.

Back to positivity and live, laugh, lovin’ next week! I welcome polemics and proposals for new ways of thinking @humanrepeller on Insta. What do you loathe, clothing-wise?

❤ HR

Published by ESK

communist fashion-loving sicko

3 thoughts on “Repeller, Repulsed

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