TELFAR appeared at last year’s Berlin Biennial with designs modelled on plastic mannequins in the same stature and expression as the artist himself; Telfar Clemens. His latest A/W17 collection was as self-absorbed and equally universal; unsettling for those who wanted more than clothes that came extremely close to normal. The cohesion and simplicity of this collection was met with some scepticism; an active denial of en masse expectations from a city recently re-rendered by politics.
Styles reached around common ground like transactions taken from a 24 hour ATM machine; carte-blanche in their approach, dallying in prime sources of self-schooling. They made more connections, burgeoned something bigger, mediated on the other beyond art and street prowess; bringing the wider picture in and out of focus. Clemens calls his creations ‘simplex’ (simple and complex) ; a modus operandi that leaves no room for manipulation by design, but instead favours conscious clothing choices that are comfortable to live with and in, when moving and still.
Colorways showed themselves up as slightly garish; visible and aware street-lights turned on for darker times. Some silhouette’s were out of proportion, in a borrowed rather than a bought fashion; redeeming in light of the questions and answers these collections provide. Identifiable forces reckoning with ever-so-slight stereotypes. An education in well-roundedness, and displays of universality that have underlying Normcore characteristics.
This is one of many Telfar collections that will appreciate in cultural worth by denying banal assumptions of culture scratched at from the sidelines.
Show soundtrack via DISmagazine