Back in February, before all the New Aesthetic hoopla happened (yeah, remember that?!), Sterling Crispin curated a limited-edition line of t-shirts, called Netstyl.es, commissioned from six different internet-based artists, inspired by the World Wide Web, and sold online via Tumblr.
Last Friday, Crispin released Netstyl.es 2.0 featuring a new line of net-inspired designs from artists like Alex Gibson, BoDyByBoDy, James W Magnum 3, and Parker Ito. The tees are hardly a steal at $147, but if you consider that you’ll be one of only 10 people running around in the design, it’s worth it—especially if you’re Tumblr crushing on any of these YIBAs (Young Internet-Based Artists).
Though the presentation could be more internet-y (is it just me, or shouldn’t the shirts be featured as GIFs flipping back and forth between the front and back?), this line is really fresh because each of these net artists have a unique aesthetic, and actually care about technology and its implications for the future of fashion. Let’s get theoretical all over these IRL digs.
Alex Gibson aka BAD SMELLING BOY: “Slogan Tee”
Cooper Union student and Tumblr t-shirt designer Alex Gibson aka BAD SMELLING BOY’s design is a wave-like collage—warped, glitched-out, spastic, and busy. Though the design is rather safe (relatively speaking), this tee is important because, as far as we know, it’s BSB’s first IRL design. He might have been better off going with one of his more reblogged virtual tees, but we imagine all 10 of these shirts will be snapped up quick. Conclusion: BSB should really start mass(ish)-producing his tees to establish some cred, and then move into swimwear design.
Dora Budor + Maja Cule: “World Wide Wet”
At first glance, this tee just looks like a ripped-off Pepsi logo, but after visiting Dora Budor + Maja Cule‘s charming website (your cursor turns into a dismembered finger), it seems it might be a take on the NY-based artist duo’s curated mixtape project WorldWide Gallery Traxx. The mixtape features nine different DJs and is spliced with phone conversations with different gallery receptionists around the world, which is a kind of a pretentious take on pretention, but it sounds killer and double negatives cancel themselves out anyway. Conclusion: “World Wide Wet” is the quintessential "hanging out with Wendy at PS1" tee… if only it had built-in fans too.
Props to Melissa Sachs and Cameron Soren aka BoDyByBoDy for having the most annoying title to read in the history of art and fashion. I tried reading this no less than 15 times and still can’t. If that weren’t infuriating enough, the design seems like a plug for Hypebeast and Highsnobiety, but with a shaded, jack-o’-lantern-esque smiley face thrown on top, so it seems “original.” Conclusion: It’SaCtUaLlYrEaLlYhArDtOtYpElIkEtHiStSoMaDrEsPeCt ThIsDeSiGnIsBeYoNDtHeHyPe BeStExAmPlEoFlIvInGoNlInEiRl
Sidian, Ersatz & Vanes: “MAR-BYR”
Sidian, Ersatz & Vanes are three classy gentlemen who make really gorgeous men’s shirts that sell at places like Opening Ceremony, which makes their inclusion in the list all the more puzzling. Here, they’re departing from their fancy denim, geometric colorblocking and pattern blending, and imparting their design tendencies on the tee. There seems to be a tangled-hair-in-the-shower-drain vibe going on up top, with a pinwheel, Magic Eye illusion motif on the bottom. Conclusion: These designs befit the internet rather than the other way around. Don’t you wish you could wear a shirt like this?
James W Magnum 3: “YIBA Athletics Jersey”
The design on James W Magnum 3 aka Shock Diamond’s tee is really pleasing. The “net” fading into a rainbow of code, plus the machina-style typography is a really nice uniform for a YIBA-in-training. Imagine if you could tap your shoulder everytime you wanted to clear your “history”? That would be especially helpful in romantic and social situations. Reblogg written in the Reebok font, and the Mac power button used in lieu of a logo are nice touches, but the only problem is that I’m kind of over the whole athletic wear/internet artist tie-in, and I wonder if other people are too? Conclusion: I hope the QR code links to something less obvious than one of the artist’s social media sites.
Parker Ito courtesy of Aventa Garden Studios: “What the Game’s Been Missing”
Parker Ito‘s image is kind of contagious, it seems like everything he puts his finger on turns to gold (or something shiny)—just check out his recent photographs and paintings that feature this silvery reflective material that photographs all crazy. The print on this tee seems to be culled from his 2012 gallery show “Anime Bettie Page Fucked By Steampunk Horse Warrior” (held in collaboration with Body By Body). Conclusion: It would be better if it was shiny and you’re lucky your NSFW filter can’t catch clothing… yet.
Which one do you “Like”? Tell us why in the comments below…