Thursday, February 18, 2010

Contest Watch Extra! Week of February 11

It's a bit odd to call this an "extra" week when, in reality, it was fairly slow for true awesomeness. There was lots of great stuff, but most of it was difficult to commit to: pieces I really want to see in person before I can honestly sit down and say "yeah, this is as awesome as it looks," which doesn't stop me some weeks, but this week, it was just enough weirdness to make me have to take a step back.

One of the highlights of the week: seeing Omnitarian's Penguins and Waffles, Together at Last get a shot up at Threadless. It needs some love to have a shot at printing, but it is truly deserving of that print, so try and get out there in the last hours of its run. We'll get back to that stuff later, but we have new work to highlight as well.

For one reason or another, one of the designs that intrigued me this week was from newcomers Inkblitz. It's been hard to find amazing work at smaller companies... some have been inactive for too long, others just can't attract awesome, but something about sjorsvervoorts' aptly named "Monster Climbing a Building" struck me as oddly appealing. It might be the monster itself, built from a helmet or poolball or possibly one of those things that shoots balls of air at people, and given that it is the focal point, the bold splash of color against the tee, that seems probable. I also like the mix of styles, though... there's a simplicity of both concept and execution that just works for a design like this. Finally, while it shouldn't need to be a concern, the positioning alleviates certain, er, "issues" that this could "rise up" with if it were a placed a bit lower. Overall, a simple piece that simply appealed for some reason or other.

Threadless is unsurprisingly taking the bulk of the tinytownean recap this week, but with designs like fikri's Forbidden Melody!!! it shouldn't be too shocking why. This is definitely in the spirit of blog fave and DBH print Metal on Metal, but far less dark if equally gritty. If I haven't said it before, music is my first love, and this Kim-Thayil-esque mountain man axe-wielder recaptures many of the images one conjures up when they think of rock and roll. What makes this different from Metal on Metal is the palette, for starters... the other is dark and bold, while this is brighter, less saturated, almost stonewashed like the player's jeans, yet the music is still powerful, still alluring, still full of awesomeness. I love the additions throughout this design, especially in the streams of guitar: lightning, skulls, hands... The positioning on this one is great too, coming in from the side. Threadless tends to take either a simple route or a nerd route when it comes to music related tees, so something like this would stand out in their catalog, yet fit with the aesthetic I feel their community has musically. It might not be the hippest representation, but it certainly puts forth the passion of a musician or music fan, and certainly has its place in their catalog for that reason.

However, the easy favorite of the week was a wonderful little concoction from ginetteginette. The piece is entitled Lumps Bathing in Their Favourite Pond, and well, it certainly fits. One of the things white shirts can do exceedingly well is both temper and brighten colors this bold: it's like a palate cleanser for those who might find uber-colorful pieces hard to appreciate, while at the same time it's blank slate allows those bold, saturated tones to shine forth purely. Therefore, designing this gumdroppy sunshiney world on a white blank really helps it become all the more wearable and wonderful. Not that it really -needs- that help... this is the sort of candy wonderland we probably don't want to admit we still dream about. There's really nothing ostensibly sugary about it, but the colorscape gives that edible feeling. The flow of the world is engaging, also. The bold colors draw your eye everywhere, but the details keep you there, and the simple shapes of the world and its denizens both make all that darting around easy. All that, and it even fills the blank in a way that a bold piece of charming psychedelia should. I am a huge proponent of pieces like this that create a whole new world of awesome and imagination... it evokes any number of tees that feature magical personal worlds that we the viewer simply would love to inhabit, from Timberland to really any number of Aphte designs, and as with so many of the designer's most visually successful pieces, it combines her more out-of-the-box style with an inarguable appeal. It's wearable and unique at once, and it would be a crying shame if Threadless did not find this in its stocks sooner than later.

And now, to the part our regular viewers expect on weeks like this: our extra hopefuls for shirt.woot's Editor's Choice week, starting Monday. As of posting, it's uncertain what we'll see print via vote, but the choices tell me one thing: we're gonna need to rely on ECs if we want to really save amazing shirts. In an ideal world, I'd love to see these: rglee129's Reboot, a stunning one-color which should have been woot's first print of the new year; Omnitarian's Taco Cat, probably the most charming food-based character ever; Mathiole's Independence, one of the most beautiful designs EVER subbed to woot, and a crying shame if they don't realize it; and ilovedoodle's Flying, which has more charm than marshmallow cereal, and proves that you can do cute, and super-cute, while maintaining personal style and quality control. These are diverse in derby origin, styles, and even shirt blanks, and while there are certainly other worthy pieces that could take these pieces' places, woot could not pick a more flawless round.

1 comment:

Coren said...

Woot must have said to itself: Self, how can we make up for letting Adder down so much lately. Because it's like this Editor's Choice week is just catering to you right now.