Oxymoron prêt à porter

Being virtual has its advantages: I can wear any clothes my illustrator is able to draw. Each piece is unique. Fashion for tangible people can be custom as well, but that’s expensive. Individualized mass production is more then just an oxymoron. Designers are working for some time on the topic of mass customization. You can see it in all the configurators web shops have to offer, anything from cars to furniture. Fashion is still at an experimental stage, but I love experiments! One such experiment is conducted by Jenna Fizel and Mary Haung of Continuum Fashion from New York. You can draw your dress on the screen. Your design is divided up into small triangles which are cut out by laser or plotter and sewn together for your self-designed, futuristic piece of couture.

The designer sets the parameters and rules with which the customer can design something himself. The result is individual but still alike to other custom pieces. Designers who like to dictate every little detail in their work won’t like it.


It is a great challenge to give away control of part of the process of design. It matches the way people define their identity between belonging to something and being individual at the same time.

Not as individual, but manufactured futuristicaly: the N21 Bikini. It’s produced in one piece by a 3d-printer. The solid Nylon 12 it is made of is strong and flexible. The printing process is able to create structures impossible to be made out of thread.

You can get your personal bikini produced at shapeways.com, but it’s still expensive. Individual production is smart. You don’t have to produce heaps of clothing in all sizes. You can produce on demand, piece by piece. I don’t want to know how many clothes never been worn go to waste each year. Besides reduced use of ressources another advantage is that you don’t need any large production sites. You can produce and deliver locally on demand.  Short transit, low cost of storage and no child labor offer great advantages.

These concepts are still in their early stages, but there is great potential. And in this case, they even look pretty hot! I am glad I can get myself drawn into these clothes.


(photo: Ariel Efron, model: Bojana Draskovic, partly dorified)


Laetitia Sadier

If anyone should ask about the soundtrack of my life, the answer would come rather easy. Since I discovered Stereolab in the mid-nineties only few days have passed without listening to them. Sounds weird, but let me explain: Stereolab has a magic ability, something like a super power. If I listen too much to one band, I get bored and need a listening-break. Not so with Stereolab. During their 19 year period of work they have filled about a foot of shelf space with discs, everything from hypnotic strumming guitars to experimental electronics. Within this broad bandwidth there is one constant: Laetita Sadier. The singer and texter is the cherry on the cake of the worlds greatest band. Her voice strides through lengths of different forms of beauty, her texts are intelligent and poetic. Besides Stereolab Laetitia had her own project: Monade. Similar direction, less complex, a bit rougher and more emotional. Another great band. Stereolab and Monade are no more, Laetitia recorded a solo album and goes on stage on her own. For example in Stuttgart at Schocken, a renown venue for the local alternative scene.

I don’t know if it’s the thunderstorms lurking in dark clouds on the horizon or just the fact that the week has just begun. Only 30 people are gathered at the venue when Laetita Sadier enters the sparsly decorated stage. A fender guitar amp, a microphone, one of those mulitfunctional electronic wonderboxes you can step upon, a setlist, a bottle of water and Laetita with her guitar. A Gibson SG, held the other way around. Stereolab made the stage look like a cramped music instrument dealership, Laetita travels lightly.

She starts. And she starts to fight. With her first song (Fluid Sands). The song “does not want to be played tonight”, she explains after some futile attempts to get the right chords out of her guitar, which is just the side-dish to her magnificent voice. She plays songs of her new album and from Monade (Thank you for playing Wash and dance, your “angry” and my favorite song). The absence of other musicians which populate her albums bestows a different character upon her songs. Sometimes I miss something, other times things surface which enchant me entirely. Like her calm and serene charm. The boys in the audience fall into a deep trance, each of them utterly in love. If I would be one of them, I’d do the same. Laetitia could sing all night long for me. Time has left all meaning behind. But after two encores she leaves the stage, sells her discs, talks to the audience and leaves.

I must be a weirdo: My personal “superstar” attracts only 30 people. But isn’t that wonderfull, on the other hand? Who can get so close to his or her idol?

Go and buy her album „The Trip“!

Thank you Laetitia for making my world sound better. I hope you’ll come back soon to mysterious Stuttgart with more songs. I’ll be there.

Fotos: Martin Zentner (the artist who listened to Stereolab while inventing me, therefore giving me the middle name „Laetitia“ as a homage to a great musician)

ITFS: Birdboy, eyeballs and lots of virtual blood.

Yesterday was the start of the 18. Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart (ITFS). At the opening the first nine short movies of the international competition were shown and I was there. Too bad if you missed it, but don’t despair: I googled the web for Trailers or whole videos of the first night:

The external world

“The external world” , David o’Reilly won a lot of prizes. Lots of weirdness and digital blood, oldschool graphics, trashy rendered. A true digital Horrorland. In short: a great small film. Here you can see the whole movie: http://www.theexternalworld.com/.


“Pixels”,  Patrick Jean: 8-Bit attack on the tangible world, in this case New York. Guess who looses.

Nullarbor“, Alister Lockhart und Patrick Sarell: Two men, two cars and an endless desert road. They act like they all do: Showing off, nonverbal communication, breaking stuff etc.

Black Swan

“Black Swan”,  Guy Harlap: Lots of colors, shapes and patterns swirl to the beat of Thom Yorks Song “Black Swan”.

Trailer von Birdboy

“Birdboy” von Pedro Rivero und Alberto Vasquez. Birdboy and Little Dinki love each other. But, as facebook would say: it’s complicated.

Hand of God

“Hand of God”, Rune Eriksson: The truth behind the hand of god.


The Origin of Creatures“, Floris Kaayk: In a post-apocalyptic world human spare parts build a babelesque tower.

Overnight Stay bei Youtube

„Overnight Stay“, Daniela Sherer (Israel): An old women tells her story of a heartwarming night in 1941.

Die Kiste“, Kyra Buschor (Deutschland): Three frogs debate about a box yet unopened.

Death, devil and evil in general

Four men standing in the fog. Lightning strikes through the milky air. Infernal noise fills the room. Drums, like a washing machine running amok, filled with scrap metal shake the bodies of the damned. Cats scream like being skinned alive. That’s how guitars sound while a sinister looking guy sings songs about death, devil and evil in general. The audience screams along, jumps about and is happy. That’s heavy metal. More precisely: That’s Slayer.

In my youth metalheads made me suspicious. Their aggresive, beersoaked nature didn’t go well with the cultivated weltschmerz of my gothic new wave life stile. At least I was not into popmusic – that counted a lot in the eighties. The insecurity of youth didn’t allow journeys into the fields I call home today. Heavy metal had to come out of the deepest pits of underground and get lost in uncounted facettes of crossover to get cherished  by me. I was glad that some of the pioneers who kicked rock music’s ass 30 years ago where still around. The great heroes of the uncompromising are definitely Slayer who never got tamed like their colleges from Metallica. Therefore you don’t have to visit a stadium to see them, you can experience then in cozy places like the Volkshaus in Zurich.

In front of the old building right in the middle of Zurich the audience gathers. Black clad guys with all lengths of hair – as a girl I belong to a minority – make me wonder how many of them dressed up for the event and who walks through life in their sticker clad frocks, taking their high priest of evil look seriously. Some bankers didn’t get around to dress up after work. Heavy metal has become socially acceptable, the former headbangers have become established, traded their frock with a business suit.

I am enthused by the badges on the old denim vests, cluttered with obscure lettering of pertinent bands, pentagrams, monsters, satanistica and the like. A subcultural code I can hardly decipher, showing what bands are liked and the alleged lack of fear of death and devil.

The hall of the Volkshaus is small but packed, opener Megadeth, themselves a legend, kick off the evening. From a metal point of view they are silent, I don’t even need the earplugs provided at the entrance. Solidly they play their greatest hits of the eighties and early nineties, the audience sings along, standing around rooted to the floor. The spirit of metal has not yet rissen.

The pack is going wild as Slayer enters the stage. One classic hunts the other, in unknown quality. No wonder: guitar player Jeff Hannemann has been replaced because of sickness. His performance the years before was rather sluggish. Gary Holt from Exodus tortures the guitar like your’re used from the albums. As they start to play „Raining Blood“ – most consequent and therefore best metal song ever – flashes jolt through my body writhing to the rhythm of the drums.  I scream away all the evil I have accumulated on my soul since my last concert by Slayer. Peacefully and refined I return home.