Outlierxwillienorris 2294 V1



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Tue - Sep 15, 2020 5:45 pm - 6:00 pm EST

The idea is simple, these are ideas for discussion, ideas for clothing, IDEAS FOR SPRING. We want to talk about what is possible again and we want to do it with the most important people, you. Nothing is for sale, nothing is promised, these are just ideas for what is possible. Ideas that started in Willie’s head, in dialogue with the Outlier materials. The ideas have become samples and images but they need more discussion to become products, and we want to extend the dialogue to you; let’s talk about them, figure out what we can make, and what stays an idea for now.


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Here we recognize the idea of an infinite styling-design feedback loop, where design informs styling and vice versa, ad infinitum. An oversized shirt, cut in hefty ramie cloth and styled with the hands in the pocket so the volume of the garment is pushed to the back to create an almost bustle like appearance. By adding a few selective buttons it now stays in place hands-free, which in turn opens up new ways to style the garment.

Fashion traditionally uses the blankness of muslin to trace out shapes before committing to form in more expensive fabrics. The fabric is so integral to what we do we rarely use muslin, but many of the ideas for spring were traced out in Prepared to Dye (PFD) versions of production fabrics. Following the ethos of architect Charles Moore, we resisted the urge to define this product too prescriptively for its future wearer. Dye it yourself, wear it as is, or suggest a color you’d like to see us produce it in...the idea becomes yours.

Here the integrated chest placket pocket of our popovers is literally given legs and transformed into a full on jumpsuit. A summer jumpsuit is a nice concept in theory but often claustrophobic in practice, so we opted to cut this in our injected linen, a fabric that is remarkably open to the air so the skin can breathe yet opaque to the eye so the mind can relax.

We've been averse to contrast stitching since day one at Outlier but here it is used to purposefully bring the eye to the wrap-around seam of these pleated pants. Another idea here? That turtleneck. Not the first garment that comes to mind when we think of spring dressing, but this one is cut in a super lightweight (and machine washable!) wool that is oddly comforting in higher temps.

Most garments and bags start out flat, as two dimensional pieces of fabric that get cut and sewn together. What happens if they are allowed to revisit that flatness on whim, can they they still carry?

A belt is a bag is a belt. Right?

By extending the waistband into floor-length strips that are threaded through self-bound buttonholes, a natural tension arises here. Can tension alone keep your pants on?

The idea that Outlier doesn’t do color has always been a myth. But at risk of colliding coincidence with cliche they say dark times call for bright colors and we’ve been starting to play brighter and bolder since before the pandemic. While the color blocking here is assembled more by instinct than strategy, the actual construction of the garment is heavily considered, and the side panels (seen here in pink) are cut on the opposite grain as the front panels, which has left more than one fit model saying that this tank gently nudges them to stand up straighter.

Divorce yourself from the notion that different silhouettes inherently coincide with different genders. Clothes are for whomever wears them.

We've been playing with the idea of the dart part for a while now, and customers consistently size down and wear them slimmer than we envisioned them. This is fantastic of course, designs are better when flipped and flung back down with abandon. To push it firmly out of the slim territory, we added soft pleats and filled out the leg.

The jacket sling strap has never taken off in a mass way, but it's a reoccurring theme in "serious" outerwear. We played with it quite often but, until recently, never found we had anything original to say about it. Used in a jumpsuit though it takes on a whole new life. It is no longer a way to carry a garment when not worn, and instead becomes a new way to wear a garment. Jumpsuits are inherently both liberating and constraining. The removal of belts, closures and redundancy leaves the body free while also making the garment hard to adjust and make your own. The sling strap allows the jumpsuit to be worn and adjusted in all sorts of exciting new ways.

Four square bandanas bound on the inside into one big scarf and bound on the outside with Dynylon Webbing. Dynylon Webbing is a trim we custom developed a few years ago for use in bags, the Dyneema fibers are 15x stronger than steel and woven directly into nylon webbing to create a loop system for hanging and attaching things into bags. Used here in a scarf it opens up (and closes) all sorts of ideas...

The text printed on this shirt is a quote about buildings from Charles Moore, but it works for clothing too. We used it for the invitation and we printed on some clothing too, because clothing's persistent role as an invitation between onlooker and wearer (in both good and truly awful ways) so rarely gets acknowledged.

Willie has never met a seam he hasn't tried to remove. This raglan pattern nets out to more of a shifting than removal of seams, but those shifts mirror the seam removal on the dart pants pattern to create a pairing. Remove the seams or embrace them, nothing in between.

We've been playing around a lot with analog vs digital closures. Analog offers smooth and infinite adjustment, while digital is notched and limited but offers crisper feedback and often more specific "memory". These pants have a digital "fly ass" in the back that allows the pants to be adjusted to six waist settings. One interesting thing about digital closure in clothing is that while analog is technically more open and fluid, digital settings like buttons often have more built in flex and slack when attached.

An analogous pant to the Duckcloth Digital Pant but with an analog rather than digital waist adjustment system.

The seed for this idea was a ghillie suit found in a surplus store. Ghillie suits are designed to create more natural camouflage by attaching leaves and debris to light frame work. We realized the torso-less form with just sleeves and a hood made an interesting lightweight sun cover when wearing a t-shirt. That came out as a "Base Hood" experiment a few years ago, then lay fallow until it sprouted back into mind recently. This time around, we added on our Dynylon webbing for future ideas.

What happens to a garment after it gets made is often more interesting than the garment itself. This can happen both professionally and casually. Recently we've been thinking about it using a term borrowed from the visual industries, postproduction, or just "post". Embroidery is sometimes integral to a garments form and material, but often it's done in post. We want to be designing for the life cycle of a garment, not just for the sales cycle of a garment. Clothes don’t always have to be new, to be new.

This was originally a garment that never made it out of production- the garment dyeing process proved too harsh for some of the design details. In photography we often talk about "fixing it in post" which is sort of a cop out but also an extremely common and useful tool. Can we fix garments in post too? Printing is super interesting in garments right now as it blurs the amateur/pro lines completely making it fertile ground for new ideas. Sometimes failing is just the beginning.

For many fabrics the decisions of what colors to order occurs way too early in the design process. Colors on a screen or mood board look very different than the actual dyed fabrics. Color blocking with the scraps and finds we have available is a way to get a real feel for how colors interact with each other and the fabric itself.

A scarf is a bag is a scarf. Sometimes we learn from pushing for clarity, other times we learn more leaving things undetermined.

Nothing slices through the distinctions between decoration and function like a pleat.

Leave some room, save some space and flip in it on itself and embroider again. Sometimes the best possibilities live in the negative spaces waiting to be flipped on. If we are at 100%, we are over capacity.

Sometimes ideas come together in one place. Sometimes a bunch of small ideas working together is bigger than one big idea.

Our internal guidelines on logos has always firmly been that the logo goes on the inside. The logo as a signature, not an advertisement. But we've been thinking about it differently lately. The idea of convincing consumers to wear free advertising for a corporation still rubs us wrong, but we've been thinking more about how those logos can also serve as advertisements for a community. What happens when logos are stripped of their connotations and presented as empty symbols in which a community can form around?