SOME THOUGHTS ON DELICATE GARMENTS AND AESTHETICS IN GENERAL
A few months ago I purchased a pink silk blouse. A thrift store find, bulky and shapeless in form, still pleasant to wear. Most of the time I wear it at home, misusing it as pyjamas, paired with leggings. The delicate fabric, that is particularly prone to all kinds of exposure, already suffered from grease stains and my 1-year-old drewling all over it.
Yet, in these sleazy moments of everyday life, it gives me an instant sense of elegance, akin to a cigarette that makes you feel at ease amidst a sea of strangers. To me, this peculiar silk blouse is the epitome of convenience and extravagance at once. It adds something opulent to the ordinary.
Still, nowadays the trend goes towards the practical. Modern clothing mostly comes in polyamid, nylon, microfibre or polyester: either it is dirt-cheap and of low quality or compulsively pragmatic. Don’t we all know that white suburban middle class family dressed in Jack Wolfskin gear from head to toe ? I for one, prefer a silky blouse over a scratchy windbreaker at all times, choosing lavishness over multifunctionality.
Meanwhile, delicate fabrics are of no immediate use. After all, genuine aesthetic pleasure is self-serving – it has no purpose. Materials like silk, cashmere, fur, velvet, linen et cetera are classic fabrics that offer quality and comfort regardless of current fashion and lifestyle trends. They serve the pleasure of contact and by that, they surpass levelheaded categories like efficiency and pragmatism. Touching and being touched, haptics and tactility, are by far the most erotic part of sensory perception.
My silk blouse feels visceral and has a rich softness to the touch. I handle it intuitively, with the utmost tender and care, almost like a loved one. To sample a garment; following the shape and outline of the fabric, feeling its texture on the tip of your fingertips, is a highly sensual and intimate act. Fine haptics involve a form of indulgence, voluptuousness even. In this regard they appear luscious to some and devilish to others.