Inspired by the colorful jitter of merle fur, Blackmerle explores the interplay of chaos and unity inherent to a fully interoperable line of ready-to-wear and accessories. Since launching Blackmerle in 2016, founder and designer Terry Shin has extrapolated the concept of military-style compatibility standards, à la MOLLE and PALS, to its radical conclusion: modular clothing studded with zips, press-studs, and Velcro, ready to be deconstructed and repurposed per the requirements of the mission at hand. Inner layer pieces, namely short sleeve and long sleeve t-shirts in cotton jersey and relaxed-fit cargo pants, are relatively pared back, with limited fastenings and embellishments, while outer layer pieces, whether water-repellent hard shell or insulated soft shell, are utility-dense and voluminous. In practice, the effect transcends any characterization of simply being ‘tacticool’, as wearers are beckoned to construct a texturally rich agglomeration of attachments and outerwear components that are less representative of a puerile military fantasy and more a startling glimpse at an alternate mid-apocalypse timeline where true ownership is limited to what the body can physically carry.
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