I don’t usually blog about fashion. The apparel industry is a whole other can of worms. And while fashion should in my opinion be considered alongside product and architecture as parallel subsets under the modern rubric of industrial design, it is not yet, and so I leave it at that and stay largely away.
But today my wife sent me a Sartorialist post with a marvelous photo of a woman riding a bicycle. She so often sends photos of bikes and chic cycling that I almost missed what makes this photo shine– the woman’s right prothetic leg. It’s easy to miss graphically: the color seems an extension of the bag in the basket; the axis of the prosthesis coincides with the axis of the basket’s stay. I really thought her right leg must be out to the left preparing to dismount. Anyway, what makes this photo so special to me is the fluid connection between the subsets of human design and ingenuity. We augment our bodies in textiles and machines, mechanically concealing and gracing ourselves with protection and advantage over the earth and elements. And it’s hard in the information age particularly to tell where we stop and our tech starts. It’s a cliche of blurred lines often explored in allegory and fable. But I love that this photo explores those lines in color and line. Her vermillion dress is a part of her red bike. Her prosthetic leg is an extension of her chic purse. And of course the leg and bike collude to propel her with grace and efficiency inspite of her unique and common human handicaps. Clunky masculine mechanical fixes and colorful feminine grace. It’s a wonderful photo. And it’s getting a lot of attention.
Designer Christian Annyas has a post up featuring gorgeous covers from Sanborn insurance map books along with a thorough archive of links to other examples and resources. I’ve drooled over plates like these in the Pratt Library which has stacks of historical insurance map books of the city. Absolutely stunning. Via Khoi Vinh.
Mid Bronx is a commercial garbage collection company that I found up by the job I’m on and they’ve been doing weekly collections from my site. Super nice guys and I really love the type treatment on their truck. It’s a classic industrial logo type. And they have great shirts to match. I managed to score one. XL. It looks like a dress on me. (Please don’t tell them.)
Bike Delaware News has an interesting follow up to Ron Con Coca Cola’s SVA thesis video which made the rounds last month. In the Zen of Roundabout Engineering they compare Ron’s video to a typical Dutch roundabout. It’s unbearably civilized. Everyone is so careful and courteous… I can’t watch!
This is horrible. It’s like one of your childhood heros dying. Or like losing a stuffed animal. Or like having a tooth just drop out of your mouth without any feeling. Ok, maybe not that. But it’s very strange to know that I will never be able to round the SW corner of 80th St onto Broadway while looking menacingly across the street into those blankly chewing eyes, standing like dumb tourist cows in the morning glare behind the glass at Zabar’s while I make my turn South and head into H&H bagels. For a REAL bagel! With a plastic knife and a 2×3 brick of Philly cream cheese. That’s growing up on the UWS. I thought my childhood ended when Cafe La Fortuna closed and I had to forsake iced cappuccino with chocolate italian ice under the din of Verdi. I cried at the locked gate. I did. But maybe this is it. Or maybe childhood dies a slow death. A gradual asphyxiation by inevitable business development and the consequences of corporate tax evasion….