So I was catching up on Fargo on Netflix last night and I suddenly realised that every single character was fleshed out with references to French existentialist philosopher Albert Camus. Then I scrolled through the Sisyphus boulder that is my feed this morning, and it dawned on me that angsty existentialism has moved from ‘raison d’être’ to ‘look du jour’. Yes, ‘the new black’ is ‘the black emotional hole caused by the absurd position of mankind searching for meaning in a meaningless existence, where true joy can only be found in the acceptance of the task at hand’. In this case: assembling an identity through era-appropriate garments. Cases in point
Aside from portfolio photography that could use captions like “Ugh, I hate it when my boots get smudged with the messy material manifestation of immortal energy.”, there is the press release with describes the idea behind the collection as “… the inherent friction between the contemporary individual and the space that they inhabit.” Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Jean-Paul!
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian for Balmain
Don’t get it twisted. Kanye was already way ahead of the pack, exploring the post-apocalyptic existential path in Yeezy Season 1 gear and dirty boots when the rest of us were still trying to wake up rubbing the pastel-coloured gunk out of our eyes. While you were stepping out of the shower wrapped in a leopard print Supreme towel, Mr. West was already out howling with the wolves in a moonlit landscape depicting the cold alienation between our animal selves and our current cultural selves as ‘lonely betters’. I cry. Kim cry. Mankind cry. Yeezus wept.
Speaking of originators, Devon Halfnight Leflufy isn’t the kind of man who puts ‘POST IRONY INC’ on a hat for no reason. This man has been carrying around enough thumbed and crinkled copies of Slavoj Žižek in the back pockets of his flawlessly cut leather pantsto prove he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to plunging into the existential depths to find conceptual pearls to throw before the crowds of online shopping swine. That’s why his collections are still a real event.
Oh, lighten up. It’s not that serious. We’re all dying anyway.
I also genuinely like every piece of clothing and footwear I’ve just talked to you about. Why else would I talk about it? Don’t be absurd.
Or be absurd and own it.
Whenever I’m reading another press clipping or high street T-shirt referring to early 20th century existentialism, I think of this line in the The Simpsons: