Self – Help – Shirts is a collection of existing garments with texts on them from an emotional realm. As part of the research ‘What to buy for the fashion-focused reader in your life’ they bring the role of emotion, experience and self-help culture in fashion to the surface.
“In general, my wardrobe contains very few words, preferably none. It is in great contrast with my fascination for the current strong presence of words on clothes. I’m not talking about the slogans we are all familiar with, like names of places, bands or brands, commonly printed on garments. No, I’m talking about expressions with emotional connotations. Next to my text-free wardrobe I therefore now have a growing collection of garments with a vocabulary of words including BEGININGS, EMOTIONAL, FEELINGS ARE FACTS, UNREALITY, LOVER NOT A FIGHTER and PATHS. These are words that address or represent a state of mind; they are loaded with feeling; they elevate subjectivity over fact. Going over my new wardrobe makes me wonder if today emotions are perhaps no longer just used as marketing tools, but have instead acquired a kind of capital of their own. Could it be that by spelling them out on garments, to be worn and displayed on bodies, these emotions are, in the process, effectively turned into capital too?” A fragment from: SELF – HELP – SHIRTS, A Lexicon for an Economy of Emotions, read the full piece here.