Nude suits

Posted in caught by juliobesq on April 7, 2010

Following on from dermatographia and Anna Maltz’s extraordinary knitted nude suits it struck me that we as a species are happy to parade around in other animal’s skin and fur but make little use of our own when it comes to patterning and preening. Not the display of what is hidden: the strange ritual where it is perfectly acceptable to saunter by oiled in swimwear designed to emphasis, but by the same token not alright to be caught in our underwear. Instead the referencing outwardly of what might be underneath, fashion loves a nude shoot it seems but not a nude suit.

Most don’t anyway. The above range is by Alba D’Urbano, who luckily for me, shortly before emailing them to see if they did anything in my size, I discovered is an artist. Her work explores notions of external appearance and how bodies interact with technology, the photo is from her piece entitled “Il sarto immortale” (the immortal tailor), her work has also featured as part of the Intimacy! Bathing in art exhibition. The superb execution of the suits left me admiring her work but also somehow disappointed that they weren’t actually couture.

Likewise I am not holding out much hope for the “Inside-Out” hairy suit to be a real product either. A shame. The photographer Nicole Tran Ba Vang uses digital manipulation to create images of skin suits, most veer towards optical illusions but this one again could almost be a fashion spread for clothing.

Inside-out suit, unknown | Hiver by Nicole Tran Ba Vang

I was going to start the piece with a reference to one of the first known existing example of nude suits – the Vivienne Westwood tits t-shirt. Being from the class of ’76 I had presumed this the original, it turns out that the idea was born simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic at the beginning of the 70’s. The Look blog have a great article on the design(s), which turned out popular enough that they extended it to a three part history: Jizz, Wonder workshop and Sex.

The concept has made it as far as a prototype at least, a dress with breasts and pubic region was strutted down the runway during the Fall 2009 fashion benefit at the Parsons School for Design, aside from the photograph there is very little documention about it, so I can assume it wasn’t a runaway success. However one fashion designer has ventured in the realm of human adornment with a range that includes hair as a fabric. Although earmarked as a trend last year only Alena Akhmadullina’s range makes dramatic use of it. I find the skirt in particular comes across more as an art piece with potential questioning on ethics than the provocation at the Parsons.

Parsons fashion benefit | clothing by Alena Akhmadullina

It appears only when the garment is hidden are we brave enough not to dare to bare, with pubic knickers growing a market share all of their own. German designers Miss Geschick and Lady Lapsus with their Winterfell number, available at their site, and the Finnish Art duo Tärähtäneet Ämmät with their take on it, although again as seems the way with nude suits these appear not to be for sale.

Wonder Workshops tit tshirt | Panties by Tärähtäneet Ämmät | Panties by Miss Geschick & Lady Lapsus

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