THE ARCHIVE PROJECT
Exploring a timeless wardrobe
While we love to hear memoirs of friends and strangers alike, we hardly tend to ask the same from the garments and objects that fill our closets and spaces. The exception although, are those who become a staple of their own - where meaning and sentiment is determined by culture.
But what sustains an item or design to remain relevant within a culture, or warrants an emotional response to withstand the flux of time?
A trenchcoat, a white blouse, a denim jacket and a little black dress, Alvar Aaltos Chair Model N° 66, Mies van der Rohes Barcelona Chair, the strong appeal of a black & white pattern or alternation stripes that carry on as fashions most expansive motifs - the concept of these products and design elements venture to carry a value, that continues beyond the moment of creation and tangibility. Which are those values that lead to indicate a “classic“ and implement a timelessness feel into the design and manufacturing process?
The objects and garments, that remain valued despite societal changes, share a profound design statement, a characteristic resulting from that idea and a connection between object, time and user, which provokes an emotional significance. The stronger and more intricate these connections are, the more likely they will stand the test of time.
This encompasses reliable functional technologies, innovative manufacturing processes, high quality materials, complex reflection on social matters and human history that spans beyond trends, or intrinsic characteristics—an aesthetic form detached from personal and social mandates. The material, manufacturing process or shape may evolve throughout the decades; however, the quality of the personal connection makes said objects appear timeless.
The fit of a little black dress may appear different in 1920, in contrast to 2020, but the remaining subtle elegance wrapped in black is the guarantee to be dressed appropriately. It’s the story of a dress that has been worn for countless occasions without being out of place.The manufacturing process of Alvar Aalto’s Model N°66 may have improved over the decades, but it’s the signature wooden shape, and all-embracing reference to nature remains the same. Denim, a fabric that became iconic itself like an isolated creature, detached from ages, gender or social status. The more we wear our favorite pair of jeans, the more they fit our shape. We grow into them and wear them out.
In today’s “throwaway” culture, a simple investment towards the design of longer-lasting products by way of new material, improved technology, and production methods might not be enough.
In order to design more timeless garments and products, we must first tune in to the stories of friends and strangers alike. We have to learn to tell stories with aspiration of replicating the feel of such “classics“, in hope they can hold a cherished place whilst time passes by.