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Let's hate on modernism for all the good reasons, shall we ?

Updated: Jan 22

I'm fond of the architectural modernist movement/lifestyle. Not because I love it, but because I hate it. I'm fascinated by how much I hate it. If that makes any sense. No matter how far I go in making clothes the appeal of showing its ugliness through my designs is so strong that I end up doing just that.

You might ask me why ? Why so much hatred Nada … Well, lets talk about the concept of efficiency since it is adored by the modernists. Efficiency for who ? For efficient people ? Who is efficient, a human ? haha never ! A machine can be efficient to another machine, yes. A machine to be efficient to a human ? How ? No matter how you good you think you made it, it is going to be missing that little something to some human somewhere in the world. Efficiency for me is like two codes from two separate machines that match each other to make them both work in the way they were made to work. Meaning the way these two machines were “designed” to work.

The word “design” itself is problematic to me- in Finnish it is written “suunnittelu” which derives from planning. And it’s true, design strives to be efficient, using the “right” materials for the “right” purpose and in the “right” way. So are we really planning our clothes? Do we want to ? Where that leaves our self - expression ? Oh, but let me assure you, for the modernists dystopia, I mean in their wildest dreams, creativity and self-expression got "boxed-in" and became “design”.  This fancy word to proclaim yourself better than the others. All other clothes became “ethnic” clothes, but modern clothes are everlasting, ever practical ever everything that will last to infinity and for e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y. And that is the core of my problem with modernism. The insistence of commodifying creativity.

Creation takes time, trials and errors, moment of doubts, certainty, joy, sadness, your past, your present, others experiences, dreams and a mashup of everything beyond and between, without you even knowing it. But from a design point of view, creativity is by essence a wasteful act.

Because it does not tell when, how much and how it will create what it will create. For me, It’s a beautiful mystery painted inside and out of its environment and time. It is to be appreciated and consumed in that very moment, just like ice cream in a hot sunny day: not in a museum, not in some sort of time-detached space like the modernist like to imagine. Will you eat a never-ending ice cream everyday of your life? No, you won’t, because it’s boring. So yeah, I can say that design, the modernist idea of creativity, is dull and lacks spontaneity. It lacks humanity.

And if you think you are not a unique human being, you can close this page. This website is not made for you.

For those who stayed, I hope you see my point. If a human wants to be efficient, a human must let go of its humanity. And that is modernism for me. When you strive to make your design as efficient as possible you let go of your human perception. You will end up designing clothes for an idea of an efficient human deprived of its humanity. Some image that modernists drew in complete abstraction of their environment and emotions. A harsh world, very harsh world they drew for us. We became mouths to feed and individual numbers to stack in their efficient boxes of houses. Now they even came after our clothes and colors.

And I say STOP. Stop this madness. Modernism is dead. It was beautiful on paper, ugly in practice. Get over it. There is nothing human in efficiency. It is utterly inhuman to socially engineer societies like a Lego land. It did not work and it will never work. Creativity and "chaos" is what makes us humans. I urge you to make this distinction. Love your chaotic-self.

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