A suggestion for a little weekend reading: I've mentioned Gretchen Jones' Neutral Territory project before, and this week I took a closer look at it in Sold Out. I know I sound a little defensive when I talk about the idea of fashion as an intellectual pursuit, but goddammit.
There's a reason why even people who claim not to care about fashion will protest when it's suggested they wear something they're not comfortable in. What we wear plays an important role in how we communicate on an immediate, nonverbal level. As designer Gretchen Jones writes on the website for her new project, Neutral Territory, "It's hard to express yourself, and it's hard to find your tribe; doing either—well or poorly—are signal challenges of being alive, in fact. Fashion is a readily available reference that lets us advertise what tribe we belong to, or wish we belonged to. Our clothes are pretty much the best means we have to identify ourselves externally, and to identify other like-minded travelers."
Jones' yearlong color-deprivation experiment, during which she limits herself to wearing an ever-dwindling selection of shades that qualify as "neutral" is only three months in, so spare yourself an hour or so to catch up on the project, which since I wrote it up has sprouted new posts on the Warholian approach to camouflage and an interview with an environmental fiber artist.