I have loved William Gibson’s last three books. There’s something really fanciful about each that makes me just laugh, but some of the spook stuff is probably spot on, and they are, indeed, (as Gibson himself has described them) painfully contemporary, to the point of self-conscious kitsch.
But one of the things that I really love about them, that has pulled me in and made me obsess, is the attention to detail – especially sartorial detail – a fidelity to an iconography and corporeality – a satoris even, that is beyond fashion. There is a focus on things that are just made really well, and work. I like this quiet, pure sort of design. These are the kind of clothes that I would like to make and wear.
Gibson said it well in this interview with GQ about his latest, Zero History, which I just finished this morning.
“We live in a world of shrinking resources and one in which the use of energy is an increasingly crucial factor. Something like the high street shop where a fashionable young woman would wear a dress once is lovely in its way, but it’s scarcely sustainable. My position is more or less like my character Meredith’s. I don’t think she’s operating from a conservative impulse – she just doesn’t want her sneakers to fall apart, and in the course of pursuing that she falls in love with the knowledge required to build better sneakers.”
This is my new mantra.
I think I’m going to take a pattern making course.