I don’t watch a lot of television, as a rule, but this season I am (once again) hooked on Project Runway, as is almost everyone I talk to nowadays. I was recently pondering the challenges they’ve had on the show during the current and previous seasons and it occurred to me that one challenge I haven’t seen them do and would enjoy watching is a challenge in which the designers have to incorporate text and/or letter-forms into their designs. Wouldn’t that be cool? I’d like to see Tim Gunn escort them to the New York Public Library to find "inspiration," send them off to Mood for fabrics, then tell them to "make it work!"
During the times I’ve hunted down funny t-shirts and the like to post here, I’ve stumbled across a lot of really POOR uses of text in clothing designs, and I would say very few of them could be labeled as "fashion." But there are people who have created reading material in wearable form and (to quote Tim Gunn again) "made it work." One of my favorite examples is the dress created by Robert Ryan that appears at the start of this post and originally debuted on the pages of Vogue UK. Robert Ryan does elaborate, beautiful cut-paper designs — each cut from a single sheet of paper — and this dress is one amazing example of the magic he can work with a pencil and knife. Other examples include his cover illustrations for books like Dara Horn’s The World to Come and John Connelly’s The Book of Lost Things. To see more visit Rob’s website and blog, or pick up a copy of his own book This Is For You.
I hunted around for other fashion featuring text in creative ways but apparently didn’t come up with the right string of words to Google, as my searches yielded nothing. This is all the more evidence, I say, that Project Runway ought to put some readable garments on the runway.