This $1290 Shirt Is Trippy As Hell
Introducing the “T-shirt Shirt.”
Haute fashion house Balenciaga is back at it. The people who gave us the $2100 IKEA tote remake and dad sneakers so ugly that 50 Cent felt the need to publicly hate on them have created…a really weird shirt.
As you can see, the “T-shirt Shirt” is really two shirts, one aggressively normcore button down stitched to the front of a plain blue t-shirt. Or is it? To be honest, no one really knows.
Currently, the one consensus people have come to about it is that it’s kind of whack. The Guardian quipped that it is “the perfect gift for the man who has everything except, perhaps, self-respect.” The BBC gravely reported that, “People have been left with unanswered questions as to why Balenciaga thought this would be a good idea.” Certainly, no one on Twitter seemed to think it was.
Instagram commenters were no kinder.
While it is an undeniably ridiculous garment, and overpriced to boot, I just want to step in here and say that I think everyone is missing the point.
Yes, Balenciaga is clearly messing with us. The designers of this shirt—nay this entire collection—might as well have announced it by saying, “We plan to spend our summer bathing in a kiddie pool of Grand Cru champagne and laughing maniacally at anyone gullible enough to buy this.” Sadly, someone will surely indulge them.
However, what people are failing to see here is that this shirt is extremely trippy. It is like the Ouroboros of shirts, folding in on itself endlessly. Just as Schrödinger’s cat is simultaneously alive and dead, this shirt seems to be both a button down and a t-shirt, but also neither.
When I see the shirt, I see a hideously ugly and overpriced garment, but I also see an endlessly mesmerizing paradox. When you wear this shirt, are you wearing two shirts at once? Or is it always one shirt? Is each part a shirt, or only the sum of the two parts?
Philosophy has yet to answer these deepest of questions, but that’s no reason not to roast a bowl, ponder this profoundly recursive shirt, and give it a shot.