Slow and steady wins the race
from press info
Mary Ping did this great project called Slow and Steady Wins the Race in 2004 that attempted to address the question "How come experimental ideas only exist in the high-priced avant-gardian realm?". Ping promises this collection will be full of high ideas and low cost materials so that the clothes are fiscally accessible. But she limits her production to only 100 pieces of each style. Which seems to me to work against her platform of accessibility. She says, "Slow and Steady Wins the Race intends to slowly open the cap on a more democratic dissemination, promotion and appreciation of clothing." Not gonna happen with such a limited prodution I think. But maybe I am too focused on the physical appreciation of the garments and am not paying enough attention to the ideas.
I think the Men's Issue (No. 9) is the best. It's a perfect little capsule collection (well, maybe if there was a pair of trousers in there). The issue seems to collect the best from the previous issues (except no designer underwear from No. 7!!) and presents them in a cohesive group targeted to a particular audience. It makes me think Ping would do a really great mens collection, not an easy thing in my opinion.
Only the first 9 issues have images of the work. Numbers 10-12 are "coming soon". Ah well, I think maybe soon has come and gone. I would love to see how No. 12 Evening came out.....how did she combine this area of fashion with her mission for the line?
No. 3 Bags got the most press, and I'd bet, sold the best. I also think this issue is important in light of all the talk about copyright issues in the fashion world (also see here and here). Ping's work with these bags highlights why this legislation would be detrimental to fashion work. Ping is working on conceptual ideas that are presented in the form of bags that are part of the design language. If this legislation passed, Ping would have no way to produce work that embodies the ideas she is trying to communicate. There are much better and more thorough writers on this topic in the links above. Or maybe I will devote a whole post to this issue at some point....
Back to SASWTR, I know Ping presented this in diary format for a reason, but I love how these collections feel like exercises. It also seems to me a worthwhile way for Ping to develop her ideas for her mainline, and, more importantly, that she still considers the pieces worth selling and worth wearing. Even more, I wish I had heard about the work when I could have bought some!