Masters of Deconstruction!

if you click on the title below…nothing happens…really nothing… it was a video but it was taken down…

Originally this was going to be a post about the Utilitarian/Techno Fashion of 90’s through early 00’s, but I couldn’t find enough information to post about it, so I’ll have to revisit that one later…but what I did find was the deconstruction of fashion that was going on around that same time. Deconstruction has been around a lot longer than the 90’s, whenever the wearer got tired of trying to fit into the established mode a new one was created, new styles and attitudes towards fashion has been formed from deconstruction – less fabric, more fabric, inside out, upside down, barely there, “wrong” fabrics, found textiles, maximum volume,…ect…the catalyst in the past has ranged from freedom of movement, sexual politics, shock value, art, (Rock – Punk) music in the 60’s through 80’s…and environmentalism from 60’s to present (What to do with all those 90’s-00’s Express or Rampage dresses that fill up thrift stores today?) From the 1990’s to present it has been about a response to new technologies which offered more information and mobility, and a need to retain one’s individuality amid the influx of mass market fashion. A theme also found in the Utilitarian/Techno dressing of the same time, only Deconstruction differs in its refusal to be a reproducible garment. 

If Minimalism rejects excess, then Deconstruction embraces it to create structural change.  Deconstruction is highly personal and always starts at the street level, and when it does influence the fashion houses, the few designers who work in this aesthetic take it very personally and allow their work to speak for itself…

THE 1970’S

American Designer/Artist, Billy Bowers shown in his own design, from Native Funk & Flash (1974)

Zandra Rhodes 1977 exhibit -beautifully draped jersey with torn raw edges, safety pins and chains


Last but not least I wanted to end this post with Issey Miyake’s APOC  1999 – He literally takes cut-out clothing to a new level, the  construction of a new garment is cut from a tube shape piece of cloth

Native Funk and Flash



9 thoughts on “Masters of Deconstruction!

  1. I love how you stated “If Minimalism rejects excess, then Deconstruction embraces it to create structural change.” Such a great way to put. Deconstruction is fascinating. It seems to me that much of deconstructed clothes used in the entertainment industry either televised series or featured length films are used to futuristic settings and periods. I’m also a big fan of Zhandra Rhodes, Comme des Garcons and Vivienne Westwood as well. To me, Deconstructed pieces represent a bright mind (as a designer) who is willing to leave the linear path of conceptual design and draw inspiration from a completely different reference point.

    I love your articles. They are very well written and researched. I find them to be more stimulating than many other style blogs. Thanks for your work.

  2. my thoughts on Decontructivism…

    I would love to see a simultaneous timeline that showed the evolution of art, literature, architecture, typography, industrial design, music, graphic design, automobile design, dance, film and even city planning from the beginning of the industrial revolution to today.

    basically… I think this was all spawned approx 150 years ago by the fact that the masses finally had some free time once they weren’t all working all hours of the day simply to eat. This free time led to introspection and thought amongst the masses.. and then the desire to advance one’s mind… led through a variety of movements… jazz, dada, surrealism, art deco, beat culture etc etc… ultimately to the idea of modernism simply for the sake of modernism as a way of life. Which was rejected pretty quickly… leading to postmodernism… which was pretty short lived too and which led to post postmodernism (of which decontructivism… at least in architeture is a subset) and then metamodernism….

    all of which are being rejected of late.

    it is all so snobbish really. very interesting… but so snobby. I think it will be looked at as such a funny couple of hundred years really in a century or two more.

    1. thanks Eric, but I don’t think its snobbish at all. The deconstruction of clothing and fashion starts at the street level, sometimes as a response to the status quo, and sometimes it is born out of a need of self-expression, to make something creative out of exsisting and limited resources…punk rock embodies the diy ethic in their style, as do hip hop dancers, and new designers and stylists who have to work with what’s available, all done with a fearlessness that is often lacking in mainstream fashion…of course this all eventually gets filtered down and knocked off by manufacturers who offer people a “safe” and wearable version of the original deconstructed garment

      1. Making something creative out of limited resources is a good point. Australian furniture from early colonisation to the depression era and WW2 was made from packing cases, crates, cotton reels, kerosene tins, broom handles, tea chests, etc. so relied on using all materials to hand. No doubt this passed through to textiles and fashion, so Australia has a strong history of deconstruction including Aboriginal technology and fashion.
        Thanks for an interesting and thought provoking article!

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