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Engineered Garments: When the new feels familiar

Approaching a year of viroid abuse and nothing seems new anymore. Same drizzle. Same weary ‘what’s for dinner tonight?’ negotiations. Wash clothes, do work, watch news… Life is just a never-ending Netflix homepage  —  don’t stop scrolling, sooner or later there’s got to be something different.

Comfortably numb or uncomfortably numb  — I can’t even tell. Everyone I know is so cold they’re wearing two pairs of socks. Bridgerton is ancient history. It was The Pembrokeshire Murders for five minutes.

This week I watched four wannabe Ant Middletons miming diabolically to a fucking sea shanty. On paper they’re a sickening quartet of lobotomized clones  — deluded exhibitionism, H&M-level taste, meaty cocks proudly folded and vacuum sealed up front. It’s precisely the kind of spectacle that would usually freeze me with fury. Yet I felt nothing.

Even the new feels familiar. Same. Same. Same.

I look at this new vest thing from Engineered Garments and nothing happens. I mean, it’s a smart looking piece no doubt. But seriously (and I know I’ve covered this ground before) what would I do with it? Surely autumn/winter 21 will be in stores before we even get a sniff of ‘normal’ life again.

This “Gangster Stripe” seems to be coming from the same place as last season’s “Chalk Stripe”  — in that the position of the stripes isn’t consistent, leaving plain areas to work as a kind of negative space. This kind of asymmetry of pattern is always a short-cut to modernism and here, on the softer, washed out blue, it works well: the perfect summer cover-up.

This is a new version of the EG ‘Cover Vest’ and while Nepenthes London suggest it’s had “some slight alterations”, it looks more like a complete overhaul to me. It’s no longer a pop-over for one. The piece is now button heavy (at the top they double up 60s style) and the single front pouch has been replaced with two pockets; lopsided, one big, one small. This results in something that feels far more dressy, less absent-minded pull-on, more considered part of a whole look.

Nothing about this is bad. Just different. Not different enough to make me fire up the Paypal though. And not different enough to rumple the crushing duvet of ennui. The Netflix scroll continues.

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