For the most part, classes of thought provide a sort of philosophical affiliation and easy explanation for an artist, a writer or simply a scholar. Whether one belonged to “Post Modernism” or “Minimalism”, it states the creator’s stance with ease. However, for Germany industrial designer Dieter Rams, the “ism” is more so a cause of fear than ideological refuge. While the former Creative Director of Braun (and a loyal employee of more than three decades of the company) believes that form should follow function, he does not believe in “Functionalism”. As Rams once put it in an interview, there is no “functionalism”, just functions.
It is easy to see that Rams roots for simplicity, not just through his beliefs but his work are epitomes of streamlined styles where function literally dictates the design without sacrificing psychological function (aesthetics). It is this quest for reworking household items to inject a sense of deftness and sophistication into mundane daily lives while providing visually appealing products that drew Undercover’s Jun Takahashi to work his Spring/Summer 2010 collection of tees based on Dieter Rams’ designs.
The story of Undercover’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection goes back to the summer of 2009, when Takahashi met Rams at the latter’s Tokyo retrospective (an exhibit of electronic products that had come to dictate and shape industrial design today). Rams’ dictum of “Less Is Better” struck a chord with Takahashi, who saw a need to cut through frivolity and excess in the compromising economy. With that in mind, Takahashi’s Spring/Summer 2010 menswear collection soon became a homage to Rams and his work at Braun, honoring and operating on two simple decrees– minimal details and functionality.
It may be easier to see the depth in which Takahashi had delved into Rams’ work through other ready to wear pieces of his collection (voluminous white jackets with sportswear details providing much needed breathability and room for movement in the summer, of course, with matching crisp pants), but the tees give Takahashi creative reign to draw direct elements from Rams’ work and plot them onto fashion’s favorite canvas. In terms of tees, the running theme of the collection, “Less Is Better” finds itself onto the tees, but with a Takahashi twist into “Less But Better”. Interesting images of roses and an aged photograph showing developers working on products seem to point at a need to fit design into life, and not the other way. Other tees include a simple “Less But Better” scrawling happily with a flower down the side of the tee, and another features a picture of Dieter Rams depicting maximum creativity/thought and minimum disorder. Years after Rams had retired from Braun, his designs were reinterpreted and adopted new functions as apparel in Undercover. The collection is now available for purchase on colette, alongside a colette exclusive shirt that features both Takahashi’s iconic bear and parts of Ram’s most memorable work at Braun. images via: colette and designboom