I mean, a man being given a pricy dose of bionic prowess after skydive crash-landing into a tree? While highly experimental and grossly expensive, what seemed like science fiction to us then seems much more plausible today. This is especially true when we see individuals like Oscar Pistorius and the strides made with prosthetic medicine or even stem cell research. As we progress and experiment, we learn more about what we can actually accomplish through integration of technology and one of the most organic, evolving and complex experimental subjects; the human body.
The body with all its impulses, nerves, synapses and other complexities is the technological target. It’s strived to be perfected, preserved and protected in all its areas; the physical, mental and spiritual. While we may wrestle intensely over the moralities of the mental and the spiritual, the physical state of the body is the most visual and therefore has often been the most fussed over. It’s this fussing that fashion inhabits as its many facets serve to protect, disguise, empower, enlighten and equip. Things that ironically are right in play with the mental and our own definitions of the spiritual.
The aforementioned issues of technology for the human body and clothing for the physical body are merged and conger up issues of how and what we could wear to satisfy the current needs, advancements of our bodies. Issues like this and other radical thoughts on transhumanism were on play at the Spring/Summer 2015 Marlon Gobel menswear show. Mr. Gobel explored the notions of man’s need to be stronger, smarter, younger, faster and better-equipped males through a telling installation. Models filed onto a laboratory styled staging area and were prompted by a lone female lab technician who appropriately checked off each specimen as fit for the social and fashionable arenas.
As if to protect the newly capable human form, the models were adorned in highly wearable ready-to-wear apparel in fabrics from durable stretch nylons and cotton canvases to body-molded cashmeres and soft neoprenes. The silhouettes, like moto jackets, bombers, trim dress shirts and cropped cuffed trousers ran through the gamut of comfortable menswear exploring how cut, trim placement and even color play roles in enlightened male's selections. With the ideas of human advancement surrounding transhumanism, Mr. Gobel made a case of what the enhanced and enlightened male specimen chooses to wear to be the best himsel. The allusion proposed is that these articles of clothing create a balance with the wearer by congruently leaving his body equipped to be protected, agile, suitable, current, ready and able. What the clothing does for the modern body and the modern male psyche is the technology.