kottke.org posts about clothing

The history of technology is the history of pocketsSep 08 2015

Pocket Calculator.jpg

Diana Kimball writes on the complex symbiosis of devices, clothing, and the body:

In a very real way, what people tuck into their pockets signals what they care about. Ötzi the Iceman carried fungus to make fire. Japanese men in the Edo period carried medicine and seals. Queen Elizabeth I carried a miniature jewel-encrusted devotional book. European women in the 18th century carried money, jewelry, personal grooming implements, and even food. Here in 2015, we carry cellphones?--?never letting them out of our sight.

If what we put in our pockets is important, to advertise a product as pocketable is to imply that it's indispensable: something you'll always want by your side. Pocket watch manufacturers adopted this approach early; purveyors of pocket knives, pocket handkerchiefs, and pocket books (also known as paperbacks) followed suit. Technologies all, these tools still seem primitive relative to slim electronic bricks we haul around today. To find a direct ancestor of the cellphone, we need only look back as far as 1970: the year the pocket calculator was born.

It's a short essay, but still manages to cover multiple historical periods, eastern and western traditions, different problems faced by men and women -- remarkable range. A beginning.

(photo via Matthew Rutledge at Flickr)

Here's a line of pre-pixelated clothes suitableMar 21 2006

Here's a line of pre-pixelated clothes suitable for wearing on television shows where the producers don't want to worry about clearing the rights to clothing logos. Fun idea.

What's wrong with the Gap? Daniel GrossMar 10 2006

What's wrong with the Gap? Daniel Gross approaches it from an economic standpoint (with a Jared Diamond analogy, no less) while Lucinda Rosenfeld examines the retailer's clothing woes.

Velour sweatpants with "del.icio.us" onMar 03 2006

Velour sweatpants with "del.icio.us" on the ass, modeled after Juicy Couture. (thx, katie)

Scans of the Victoria's Secret catalog from 1977.Feb 17 2006

Scans of the Victoria's Secret catalog from 1977. Compare with the catalog from 2003.

For the nerd in your life: aDec 02 2005

For the nerd in your life: a hand-crocheted scrollbar scarf, with repositional scroller.

For those of you who are NapoleonOct 28 2005

For those of you who are Napoleon Dynamited out, how about a "Pedro Lacks Political Experience" tshirt?

A series of art projects based onOct 28 2005

A series of art projects based on Flickr. The Flickr tag cloud tshirt is clever; the printing on the shirts is reversed so that you can read them in the mirror..."the [Flickr user's] narrative is actually addressing himself while claiming to address others". (via ia)

Teenaged necktie maven Baruch Shemtov. He madeSep 29 2005

Teenaged necktie maven Baruch Shemtov. He made his first tie for school and has since turned it into a business, selling his wares in Fifth Avenue shops and online for $100 apiece.

Interview with the fellows from skinnyCorp. HalfSep 07 2005

Interview with the fellows from skinnyCorp. Half of my current wardrobe is from Threadless and I haven't had occasion to wear my nifty Naked & Angry tie yet.

Fans of Six Feet Under will wantSep 07 2005

Fans of Six Feet Under will want to get their hands (and arms) on a Narm! tshirt. Narm. Narm!

Limited edition tshirts are all hip and such right nowJul 21 2005

Limited edition tshirts are all hip and such right now.

75 creative workers were asked to choose aJul 19 2005

75 creative workers were asked to choose a color for each day of the week and this 7-pack of tshirts is the result.

Interview with Nigo, founder of the JapaneseJun 02 2005

Interview with Nigo, founder of the Japanese clothing label, A Bathing Ape.

Tags related to clothing:
fashion tshirts design art TV

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