Friday, December 19, 2008

Tee-cember: They Call Me Shirt-Miser

Design by Humans has been conspicuous in its absence for the last month in my write-ups. It's partly due to their VonZipper sponsored competition, which announced winners last week. It's partly due to their holiday sale ending before December hit full swing. But it's also because somewhere along the line, DBH seemed to forget they once had a $19 price point. To me, having some shirts debut at $19 made the more expensive ones more justifiable... "well, I've got two cheaper shirts, so I can toss in this 24-dollar one." It was always something a little special, so the price tag was worth it. Lately, it's felt that shirts that would have been cheaper beforehand are just defaulting to $24. It's not a practice I want to encourage, but nevertheless, this week provided a couple tees that just might be worth that extra splurge.

Torakamikaze's Enchanted Nightmare straddles the price line to me, given that it is a good sized discharge print. Even so, though, to me it's more than worth the consideration anyway. It's gorgeous in a dark way. The colors are wonderful together (and it doesn't hurt that the hooded wraiths remind me of Mumm-Ra). I love how the linework doesn't appear to be anything but the shirt itself, which really integrates it into the blank well. I love the details and characterization, the textures on everything and the way the spirits in the background look (a bit of maniacal whimsy) and fill up the scene. Everything about it falls into place just right, and while I'm not fully swayed from appreciation to purchase, it is far and away the most tempting new shirt DBH has put across in a month.

Also straddling that very line: DCAY's "Wild Things." It's got my love this week for a number of the same things Tora did above, but in totally different ways. The colors for example... DCAY goes classic and rustic here, which works wonders with the style and concept of the piece. The linework is also similarly attractive, with simple, delicately lined leaves melding with animals that look like classic woodcuts. The kicker here is the use of transparencies, and the ways those transparencies work... sometimes the leaves are printed over the animals, sometimes they only show through the empty space in the linework, and still other times the animal is obscured, as if the leaf is no longer transparent. It gives a great sense of how nature relates to itself... how ecosystems rely on each other, and how animals can inhabit their surroundings. Or maybe I'm just reading too much into a simple and highly wearable nature shirt. That certainly doesn't make this any less tempting, and the full-frontal print assuages the guilt of the price a tad, also.

Also making things a bit more guiltless: DBH is donating $1 from each shirt sold this season to Toys for Tots. It's no price break for you, the shirt buyer, but it's an easy and painless way to give without even making an effort.

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