A T-shirt design by Hannah Claus at the Mixedfit show. Story and photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.
The humble T-shirt stretches its simple fabric across the length and breadth of our lives. Both a timeless casual default in most wardrobes and a staple of American Apparel-era hipness, these social billboards project statements, clichés, politics, and commerce in equal measure–or, when unadorned, they become the foundation of understated chic. We ask a lot of them, too: They carry the burden of our cheap jokes and shameless sloganeering, and support the weight of our icons who fill them out to bursting point (never more devastatingly than on Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire).
With that in mind, the debut of the Koffler Gallery’s Mixedfit project at the well-appointed Queen West branch of Balisi (711 Queen St. W.) on Tuesday night was a characteristic launch—DJ, drinks table, and teeming crowd enter stage-right—for an atypical product. Four eclectic T-shirt designs by four diverse artists were on show and did not disappoint for both style and substance.