Fashion Misstatements

When What The World Needs Now was published in 1984 I felt I had tapped into a streak of American cultural insanity – or, to be more honest, my own insanity – so successfully that no future designs in any field could out-crazy mine. Wrong! Instead, I see now that my work was just a timid first step in a worldwide mix ‘n match innovation binge that would make my odd designs look almost staid and boring. In 1984, these women’s shoes, for example, were my idea of nutty-crazy.


Yet, if you follow fashion design these days, some of the designs for dresses, coats, hats and shoes for women seem over-the-top insane. Today, no strange idea is allowed to remain unexplored.

I have tried my best to be ahead of the curve. Here are some truly meaningless and awkward shoe-hat combo designs. This clothing line is part of my As Above So Below collection. These, I hope, are crazier than current clothing designers would dare offer to the buying public.



In women’s wear, funky and colorful tennis shoes have become a fashion item and are sometimes worn with a formal dress or business suit.

When I look back at my files from 1982-83 I find odd hat designs that touched on the shoe-hat theme. They have never been published. They are shown on Neatorama for the first time.





Can the current crop of fashion designers top these? I doubt they can. These designs are at once too heavy, sweaty and off-balance to really catch on. Or are they? Assuming they merely look like the shoe or boot they are imitating, but are actually ultra-light, might there be a clientele for these? Should I quit cartooning and start designing ShoeHat products?



These soft sheepskin slipper-style ShoeHats look rather warm and comfortable if worn in winter. I like them. One could store lightweight things inside the upper story.



The GloveHat on the right would not fit with my ShoeHat product line, of course. Plus, unlike the ShoeHats, this design is borderline practical, assuming one could discover an advantage to having two matching and one non-matching GloveHats. Right-handers would choose a right-hand GloveHat as the hat, considering it as a spare.

In an upcoming post in the Museum of Possibilities series, I will continue to explore the hat theme. I plan to shift away from impractical designs like the above to practical and useful designs like the snowshoes hat, smoking helmet, and folding campsite toilet hat.

Visit Steven M. Johnson at his website.

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Mr. P: If Phil Garner were writing blogs here, I would gladly step aside. My work appeared alongside his work on the People & Places page in Road & Track magazine in the early 1980s. I was honored to be on the same page with a truly strange man like Phil.
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Well, a few like Ben Terry and Johnny Cat say they like my posts and that I should continue with them, but a cluster of like-minded folks agree that my work is a big waste of "Neato-space".
The discussion here among the Neato-space Time Waster Club has even delved into shades of difference in meaning between something that is "amusing" vs. something that is "funny.' I have rather enjoyed that discussion.
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