Đorđe Smajlović (HR) Feel Good T-shirt

installation, 2008.

Feel Good T-Shirt examines the relation between clothes and body in which an item of clothing becomes a strategic device in everyday life. Monochrome, blue and red t-shirts are enriched with substances having a soothing effect on the symptoms of nervousness and stress (anxiety, irritability, tension caused by mental strain) or substances that work as energy lifters and alleviate fatigue or have a stimulating effect during exposure to psychophysical exertion. By indirectly affecting the senses of smell and hearing, and by absorbing dissolved substances from the fabric through skin, the body is given a stimulant of either an ‘upper’ or a ‘downer’. The format of the t-shirt is a basis treated with suitable drugs or etheric oils depending on the color: blue t-shirts are ‘downers’, while red ones are ‘uppers’. Substances used are listed on the label, in the percentage in which they are present in the product with regards to other materials. The maintenance labels also include a description on the effects of the drug and detailed data on it.

Putting an emphasis on the technological aspect in the process of shaping, presenting and supplying the product highlights the passivity, estrangedness of the contemporary consumer, while fashion influence is based on imitating the fashion system of big brands and their constant effort to better the product- consumer relation. By trivializing the structure which supplies fashion apparel cheaply and instantly, the t-shirts are placed in vending machines and made available, during the exhibition, at a symbolic price of 1 kuna. The result is a hybrid which is available, ready to be consumed, disposable, and offers pleasure and relief.

The practice of impregnating different substances into textiles is not a technological novelty, but here it is interesting as a hi-tech mechanism suggesting safety and health, all the while making the product attractive. Substances impregnated into the fabric can be washed up in washing while psychological impression remaining after the first usage becomes one of the elements in the marketing strategy.

First relations between product and consumer are realized in advertising campaigns. Associations wanting to convince us to purchase this project mostly depict celebrities laughing happily and guaranteeing, with full confidence, the same effect which the purchase of this product will provoke with ourselves. The Feel Good T-Shirt campaign is, in contrast, banalized and brought down to a simple slideshow with models dressed in t-shirts. The ad inviting models for the commercial will be published on Facebook and thus actors in it will be ‘regular’ people who are targeted by this t-shirt.

Đorđe Smajlović (HR)

Đorđe Smajlović (1982) is a student of fashion design at University of Zagreb’s School of Textile-Technology. Since 2005 his collections have been presented in Croatia and abroad and in the same year he won the Modna gušterica prize for the best fashion collection. He took part in numerous group exhibitions inCroatia and abroad, and was a Croatia’s representative for fashion design at the Biennal of Young Artists of Europe and theMediterranean in Bari in 2008.

Contact: djordjesmajlovic@yahoo.com