The Cult of Clever Clothes


Clothes? How can clothes be clever? They aren’t sentient, they do little but unfurl messily over your floor and (lamentably) they don’t write your essays for you. Cynicism may make you wonder: where’s the connection between buying material objects and flexing brain matter?

Somewhere in Australia a cult fashion label called Black Milk creatively labour to make the traditionally lofty realms of art, astronomy, history, geography and culture accessible through their combination of maverick, breathtaking design and cutting edge use of social media.

My favourite example is their recent addition of the art of Vincent Van Gogh to their leggings collection. Arguably, the only thing more fulfilling than gazing upon ‘Starry night’ is having the work on your body. Imagination can’t do them justice, so I’ve served up a picture from their Facebook fanbase:

Black Milk’s ‘Starry Night’ leggings: $75.00 AUD (Approximately £50 GBP.)

Crafting fashion from one of the most evocative impressionist paintings isn’t enough for this missionary label, who have pressed ardently on with their mission to make masterpieces of ladies’ legs, with twists on ‘Le Cafe’, ‘The Great Wave’, ‘Der Kuss’ and the art of Mucha.

Black Milk have also taken inspiration from the Hubble project. I took the bold decision to bravely go where no financially sensible person has ever gone and invest in a pair of “galaxy leggings”. Still, £50 is a worthwhile price to have the satisfaction of the universe on your legs although it leaves you vulnerable to the inventively lecherous creep who tells you that “your ass is out of this world.”

Black Milk’s ‘Galaxy leggings’, $75.00 AUD (Approximately £50 GBP)

Securing proud ownership of a pair takes effort and expense. At approximately £50 each they’re extravagant, particularly when the more easily copied designs can be found in The Marlands for a tenth of the original cost. So why on earth would anybody, let alone students, want to invest in these items?

One reason is the sheer quality. They’re thick enough to stop my legs from getting cold and the designs are so detailed and precise that I stare in to my thighs a little too often (is there ever a good time?)
But much of Black Milk’s success owes to the way they integrate social media into their business. Facebook fans face a daily barrage of girls wearing their clothes in a variety of quirky ways (free advertising in other words.) A combination of high demand and the length of time it takes to craft them means that many items sell out quickly, leading to a frenzy, a frenzy that you increasingly want to be a part of. It’s all rather like a cult. Fittingly they’ve even made leggings that tap in to the theme of conspiracy, with Illuminati symbols.

Girl in ‘Skeleton Swimsuit’, $99 AUD (Approximately £65 GBP) and ‘Suspender Black Leggings’, $125 AUD (Approximately £80 GBP)

Their success

lies primarily in their understanding of psychology. But they also understand art, history, astronomy and the importance of sending it out in to the public, walking down high streets all over the world on the body of arguably the most intelligent design of all (that’s woman), so it’s a cult we should all buy in to.



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