Unexpected echoes of Rebecca Horn

Last month I bought one of those lounging-around-the-house comfortably soft outfits from Banana Republic. The top, in this outfit, has long sleeves and neither buttons nor zips up the front: rather, each side continues in a long flap of fabric that can be either wrapped around the body and tied in the back, or loosely tied in front and left to hang down almost to one’s knees. One night, I walked in the warm wind of the¬†holiday resort where I spent Christmas. I didn’t tie it up at all: I just let the flaps hang loose and be carried by the wind. It felt like another pair of arms. And I was reminded – I think this would go back to the early ’70s: anyone got one of those Guggenheim catalogs handy? – of Rebecca Horn’s body extensions, in which she (or her models) used to walk around displaying ungainly long fake body parts. Now, I am pretty sure the designer who designed these clothes has probably not seen those works. I am also pretty sure that I may be the only person on earth to have thought of Rebecca Horn while wearing this outfit. I must think, however, that if she knew she’d probably be pleased. Nothing an artist sows fails to bear fruit.

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