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Posted February 23rd by Design Splat in #WW - Writers Wednesday, Lily

Design deception

When I was younger I visited the Tate Modern in London. Of all the pieces in this world renowned gallery there is one I will never forget. I cannot remember the artist, or even the name of the painting, but something that will never leave me is the feeling of being deceived – almost lied to. The piece of work in question was a medium sized square canvas painted entirely in one shade of blue. The blurb under the painting stated “I adopt the cause of the colour oppressed by the line”. Now, I can fully appreciate that one girl’s trash is another girl’s treasure, and that some people may count this work as one of their favourites, but looking at it I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had been denied any real design.

A decade later and that deception has stuck with me. It reminded me of the tale of the Emperor’s new clothes – where a robe maker tricked a vain old Emperor into going out into public naked thinking he was wearing the most magnificent clothes in the kingdom. Have we become so vain that we are duped into accepting invisible robes as great design? Has the ability to make a point and shock led to the decline in genuine design?

Charlie Le Mindu is an incredibly talented designer of headpieces, hats and wigs – he has created a hair piece in the shape of a pair of lips, a burka created of blond micro braids, and in February 2009 he showed a head covering made entirely of white mice – easy to see why Lady Gaga loves him so much isn’t it? He doesn’t need gimmicky shock tactics like the naked models he sent down the runway last year – his work should speak for itself. Granted they were wearing accessories – Le Mindu’s hats, and pink platform boots, but let’s face it – his headwear was not what made the headlines – the nudity did. He certainly caught our attention but like the Emperor I feel deceived, just like I did staring at that plain blue canvas ten years ago. Promised some incredible design talent, I received nudity.

So designers, I beg of you, drop the gimmicks, stop “adopting the cause of the colour” – and let your talent shine through for its own sake.

Love Lily

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