Minimal techno star Richie Hawtin unveiled his new fashion label Richly-Hawtin at a party in Berlin last week, suggesting his bold move into designer T shirts could help fill the void left by declining sales of vinyl and CDs.
“As music sheds its skin and evaporates into the digital ether, it needs something tangible, something physical to keep hold of,” the label’s accompanying press release suggested, “The Richly.Hawtin clothing line offers just that by exploring the principles of minimalist design - where fashion and music overlap.”
Judging by the T shirt Hawtin models on the label’s new website, the essence of minimal appears to be about drab monochrome colours, conformity and attention to minute detail (or finding ‘harmony within the sensitive balance of strong line management and muted color arrangement’, as they put it.)
Hawtin’s design partner Isolde Richly went further.
"One thing which was in both our hearts was a photo book by Michael Kenna about Japanese landscapes - all in grey tones . . . snow . . . a calm sea . . . one tree, pictures that reflected an amazing stillness and the magical beauty of nature and,” she enthused, “It’s this beauty we’ve tried to capture and convert into clothes.”
His move into high fashion comes just over two years after fellow veteran techno type Jeff Mills launched his own Chicago fashion boutique Gamma Player, with a similarly camp statement of intent.
“Gamma player means one who travels beyond boundaries. A participant in the game of chance who manages the risks involved in hope of achieving more than just a satisfactory outcome,” said Millls, writing on the shop’s website at the time.
“Our weapon of choice is fashion,” he trilled, “Not just any fashion but with emerging designers that make their mark in society by clashing with the predictable and commonly accepted. Gamma Player arrives by the rays of distant stars and unknown worlds,” Mills’ statement added.
Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)