On August 8th, 2023, to celebrate 5 years since the creating the Poet shirt block a special release of one of a kind Poets were made. Reimagining the shirt in eight different ways. Each piece was made specially, with just one being available to purchase.
Like most products within the Archive, this shirt has evolved with pattern tweaks over time to become numerous iterations. The shape and design line of the front raglan and back yoke are continuous throughout but variables like collar, body and sleeve length, facings, fabric, cuffs etc. can be endlessly adjusted.
The passages that follow are journal entries made while creating these pieces.
I wanted to write a poem to the Poet Shirt to celebrate it becoming five, but I realise I don’t know if I understand how. Poetry to me feels like something that is on a pedestal. My first memory was in the book Now We Are Six, and I still remember the verses of Alexander Beetle.
Is a Poet a state of being? Is it something you can’t quite name yourself but instead just have to be / become?
I was sewing the final stitch onto a production line of shirts and thought as I have so many times before about the facings acting as a frame for a wearable piece of art. Perhaps calling something I have created ‘art’ feels similar to one calling themselves a ‘poet’.
I looked it up on google and a poem is ‘a piece of writing that relies on rhyme, rhythm and meter to evoke a feeling or convey a setting and story.’ I don’t consider myself a writer and yet I’ve been writing to you for over six years. I don’t consider myself a designer but I’ve been sewing and creating all my life.
Is it a thing about requiring a box to be put in? The worry to be compared? That someone may disagree that you aren’t a writer, or a designer, an artist or a poet? – June 24th
Perhaps the Poet Shirt is really a three dimensional poem. With its smooth lines, the way it billows, moves with the body. There’s certain rules and guidelines, yet it’s free to explore. Alter the fabric, neckline, length of sleeves. Throw onto a different body with other clothes and colours and shapes. Repetition, a state of mind. the same thing but different. Transforming through wear and love. – July 7th
I started making my coffee black because that’s the way Patti Smith drinks it. I read ‘piano’ the same way she drawls it out ‘piaaana’ and I think about her lost long black coat often. – July 10th
Lately I’ve been finding poetry and poems and poets everywhere. I’m starting to notice where to look. In every book I read there are subtle recommendations or who’s inspired them. Written on the wall there’s sweet phrases. On the way to the park an old man tells me of the daily rituals between him and his beloved dog. In a podcast they are renaming rituals into rhythms. A musician’s interview he talks about his subconscious making music yet leaving space for the words, the words like poetry are contained to what’s been left. It feels like a solitary exercise, and yet the more I think about it the more I see it’s gentle yet everywhere. Have I discovered a hidden (maybe even secret) language? – July 17th
Continuing on my train of thought with the secret world of poetry, it’s still finding it’s way to me. The interview where the musician spoke of how he left space and melody in music that words then had to follow. I think he said something about everything making sense but being abstract. Which kinda feels like a juxtaposition but it makes me excited at the thought and possibility within your own mind.
Have I spoken of this before? Repetition can be good if that’s the intent. There is repetition and consistency throughout the Poet Shirt, within my other garments, my mind and through my hands. – July 21st